From Closing Velocity:
Last night off the coast of California, history was made as the Airborne Laser (ABL) successfully detected, tracked, and destroyed a boosting ballistic missile for the first time:
WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – A U.S. high-powered airborne laser weapon shot down a ballistic missile in the first successful test of a futuristic directed energy weapon, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said on Friday.
The agency said in a statement the test took place at 8:44 p.m. PST (11:44 p.m. EST) on Thursday /0444 GMT on Friday) at Point Mugu’s Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off Ventura in central California.
“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.
But, we wouldn’t want to interfere with our attempts to reach out without preconditions to nutjob nations like North Korea and Iran, after all. So, naturally, Obama has killed this program.
Or has he? CV’s McKittrick notes the “testbed” designation. Some bureaucratic trickery to keep a rump program alive and avoid final death?
Regardless, I remember when Reagan first announced his missile-defense program to many derisive catcalls of “Star Wars!” Now, every time there’s another test success, I smile to think how stupid and reactionary those knee-jerk lefties look in retrospect.
Be sure to visit CV for some neat photos from the test.
FLASHBACK: This isn’t the only missile-defense program The Harbinger of Hope and Change has shut down.