The system is being developed by a team composed of Boeing Co., the
U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin and
consists of a high-powered laser mounted to a modified 747 jumbo jet. "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, according to Reuters. The test took place at Point Mugu's Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range in central California. With the laser-based system, the U.S. will be able to destroy all classes of missiles at the speed of light.
"The revolutionary use of directed energy is very attractive for
missile defense, with the potential to attack multiple targets at the
speed of light, at a range of hundreds of kilometers, and at a low cost
per intercept attempt compared to current technologies," the agency
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