Strategic Weapons: March 19, 2004

Archives

The U.S. Air Force problems with its Airborne Laser (ABL) program continue to escalate, and Congress is beginning to mutter about cancellation. Since the program began in 1996, there have been a billion dollars in cost overruns. An additional billion dollars will apparently be needed before the ABL is ready for testing next year. Then, according to current estimates, another three billion dollars will be needed between 2005 and 2009, with no firm date on when the ABL would be ready for actual deployment. The ABL consists of a large laser, mounted in a modified B-747 aircraft, which operates at 40,000 feet and fires a laser beam that can knock down an ICBMs as they lift off into space by damaging the fuel system or rocket motors. While nice in concept, lasers have a hard time traveling long distances through the atmosphere (even the thin at atmosphere at 40,000 feet) and causing significant damage. The air force wants more money to continue attempts to solve these technical problems.

 


Article Archive

Strategic Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close