Dear Members and Friends,
In our galaxy next week, far beyond the lights of Los Angeles, off the Ventura Coast, our nation’s Airborne Laser (ABL) housed in a Boeing 747 will shoot in flight its laser beam at the speed of light against a target resembling a current foreign short-range ballistic missile threat. The chemical laser beam will travel twice as far as did this past February, when the ABL successfully pierced the metal skin of two short-range ballistic missiles, destroying the targets within seconds.
These successful tests marked the only proven and demonstrated “Boost Phase” missile defense system intercept against both solid (2/3/10) and liquid (2/11/10) fueled short-range ballistic missiles. The laser, with its speed of light delivery and multiple shots, when developed and deployed can defend against what our combat commander’s fear from Iran and North Korea – salvo launches of ballistic missiles.
This technology is one of the greatest that the Department of Defense and our national labs have developed. The applications of the laser and its follow-on directed energy platforms are astounding and well exceed the value of funding invested into them. There are no other countries in the world that have this generation of technology and as such the ABL is highly coveted, especially by China and Russia.
The ABL is a revolutionary “game changer.” When fully developed and deployed it will change warfare, deterrence and drive current offensive weapon systems such as missiles, drones and aircraft that operate in the atmosphere to obsolescence; simply because the cost of the kill will be far less than the cost of the target it kills.
It is astounding that the Department of Defense has decided to invest only one percent of the current Missile Defense Agency budget in this technology. The Missile Defense Agency’s primary purpose is to research, test and develop missile defense systems.
The Airborne Laser Test Bed and Directed Energy funding needs to be increased, as the U.S. tax payer and our war fighter’s need to see;
– What this technology can really do.
– Continued development of the next iteration.
– An emergency limited deployed capability.
– A war fighter capable system.
We are much closer to President Ronald Reagan’s vision of the Strategic Defense Initiative and making nuclear weapons obsolete then to Senator Ted Kennedy’s dismissive view of Star Wars, “We cannot found national policy on fond memories of radio serials, dreams of the Old West, and the thrilling days of yesteryear. We must reject the preposterous notion of a Lone Ranger in the sky, firing silver laser bullets and shooting missiles out of the hands of Soviet outlaws.”
On behalf our of MDAA we take this opportunity to honor, recognize and show appreciation to the multitudes of men and women that made the remarkable engineering achievement of this revolutionary technology come true.
May the force be with you, and those that advance your footsteps.