Monday, February 22, 2010

Back To The Drawing Board With Missile-Beating Laser

The Airborne Laser just can’t deliver a beam with enough power
(Image: Jim Shryne/USAF)

From New Scientist:

A laser-toting Boeing 747 blasted two missilesMovie Camera out of the sky earlier this month, but despite this apparent success the Pentagon is going back to the drawing board in its search for an anti-missile laser weapon.

The ABL's problem is that it can't deliver enough power over enough distance to be genuinely useful, so the culmination of a project begun in 1996 and costing an estimated $5 billion will be to downgrade the ABL to a "testbed". It will be handed over by the Missile Defense Agency to the US air force for general research use.

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