Like one of those James Bond villains that just won’t die, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s missile hunting laser weapon is once again battling its way back from the boneyard thanks to the “emerging” missile threat on the Korean peninsula. The House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces panel is asking for roughly $75 million in next year’s Pentagon budget to keep the Airborne Laser program intact just in case North Korea turns out to have an intercontinental ballistic missile that works.
The Missile Defense Agency's Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) is dead after a long battle with Pentagon budgetary priorities and Congress. ALTB is best remembered for being a far-out directed-energy beam missile defense interceptor that dodged cancellation by the SecDef himself in 2010 by successfully zapping a test missile from the sky, earning it $40 million more and a new lease on life.
When it comes to space-based missile defense, history tells us it’s a good idea to be skeptical of any given development. Nonetheless, it appears Northrop Grumman has gone and done something pretty cool, tracking a ballistic missile through all phases of flight, a feat one Grumman VP called “the Holy Grail for missile defense.”
Futuristic airborne energy weapons have officially arrived, so mark your calendars. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said that its airborne laser weapon successfully shot down a ballistic missile during a test late last night, according to Reuters.
Blimps first soared above battlefields in 1794 to spy on Austrian and Dutch troops. Now the U.S. Army wants them as radar platforms for defense against cruise missiles. A Raytheon-designed blimp made its first flight yesterday at Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Full destruction of the toxic hydrazine fuel tank remains unconfirmed. Videos of impact and launch inside
By John Mahoney and Seth FletcherPosted 02.21.2008 at 12:30 pm 2 Comments
Last night at approximately 10:26 EST, after a long buildup of preparations, the Navy took the controversial step of shooting down a dead U.S. reconnaissance satellite from its low-Earth orbit. The satellite, which is about the size of a school bus, was destroyed to prevent a potentially hazardous impact with Earth, the military has said. It was moving faster than 17,000 mph at an altitude of 133 nautical miles above the Pacific when a modified SM-3 anti-ballistic missile launched from the USS Lake Erie, a Ticonderoga-class AEGIS missile cruiser, reportedly made impact.
Military hardware has orbited Earth for decades, but no actual weapons have ever been deployed in space.
That may change soon and it may launch a major space race
By Dawn StoverPosted 10.28.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
So this is how the war in space might begin: not with a bang but a clank. On April 15, more than 450 miles above Earth, an experimental NASA spacecraft called DART (Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology) fired its thrusters and closed in on a deactivated U.S. military communications satellite–and then gently bumped into it.