Boost-Phase Technology Has Great Potential

July 17, 2003

“We continue to believe that boost-phase technology has great potential for playing a vital role in layered missile defense.” – Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, July 15, 2003

Members, Supporters and Friends:

A ballistic missile travels through three phases; boost, mid-course and terminal. The objective of a robust, multi-layered missile defense system will have the capability to destroy the ballistic missile in all three of its phases.

The boost phase would be the most advantageous because a ballistic missile in this phase leaves an exhaust plume which creates a visible target, the missiles are also traveling slowly against gravity making them easier to intercept, the missile will be bigger during this phase and there will not be any discrimination issues of multiple warheads or decoys. It would offer a significant deterrence because the armed missile would fall back onto its country of origin.

One of the major boost phase programs is the Airborne Laser, or ABL. The ABL would be placed on a 747 with the purpose of flying near a country that poses a ballistic missile threat. The goal would be to have a small fleet of aircraft in flight around hostile environments.

Presently the ABL is in the research and development phase with a small investment of less than 6% of the annual missile defense budget. However, the ABL will take significant time to develop and research prior to being able to deploy. A deployed ABL would compliment the land and sea based systems that will be deployed next fall under President Bush’s initiative.

In other news, MDAA is proud to announce its most recent addition to the board of directors, Richard Gray. Mr. Gray is the CEO and Founder of TravelCLICK, Inc, which is a media and date solutions provider for the lodging and travel industry. Mr. Gray has extensive work experience in the travel industry and has held many executive level positions with major companies in the field, including the Hertz Corporation and Pan American World Airways.

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