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Pentagon: We’re Closer Than Ever to Lasers That Can Stop Iranian, North Korean Missiles

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With global demand for missile defense surging, US officials are fine-tuning cheaper, more powerful laser weapons.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Pentagon is looking to lasers as a cheaper, more effective way to shoot down long-range missiles fired at the United States by North Korea and Iran.

After experimenting with the technology for more than a decade, U.S. military officials said “directed energy” is near the point where they could use it on the battlefield.

“It’s not a hope. This is what we’re doing,” Vice Adm. James Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said Wednesday. “I view this [as] highly important for the future.”

Syring and other military officials struck a common theme at this week’s annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium, arguing that lasers could ultimately augment existing missile interceptors. They want lasers for two main reasons: they could shoot down missiles earlier than today’s interceptors and they’re much cheaper to fire.

“We have to deal with the fact that our interceptors are more costly,” said Katrina McFarland, the Army’s acting acquisition executive … (read more)

via Defense One

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