“Fund it. Deploy it…”
The flying laser’s long-awaited test on Thursday showcased a potential to zap multiple targets at the speed of light and at a range of hundreds of kilometers, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.
"The Missile Defense Agency demonstrated the potential use of directed energy to defend against ballistic missiles when the Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) successfully destroyed a boosting ballistic missile," the agency said.
"The revolutionary use of directed energy is very attractive for missile defense," the statement added.
It cited among other things a low cost per intercept compared with other technologies used to defeat missiles that could be tipped with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.
Directed energy weapons use highly focused rays to attack a target rather than chemical-powered arms. Those in control can tweak the strength involved, unlike a bullet or a bomb, allowing for less-than-lethal uses.
Lasers are well known from science fiction as a type of ray gun. In the real world, they are used for sighting, ranging and targeting for guns.
The experiment marked both the first time a laser weapon has destroyed a ballistic missile and the first time any system has accomplished it in the missile’s boost phase of flight.
READ THE REST: Flying laser zaps missile in first for U.S. | Reuters
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