Science fiction becomes reality

U.S. successfully deploys airborne laser weapon

The U.S. military has leapt into the future with the successful test of a new anti-missile device‹a high-powered laser weapon designed to shoot down ballistic missiles during ‘boost phase’‹the initial motor-powered phase of acceleration. The futuristic weapon’s “airframe” is a modified 747 jumbo jet, built by Boeing Co., which houses a high-energy laser that can (hold your breath, Trekkies) “attack multiple targets at the speed of light, at a range of hundreds of kilometers (miles), and at a low cost per intercept attempt compared to current technologies,” says the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The weapon uses infrared sensors and was first tested at Edwards Air Force Base, California in August.


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