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Boeings Airborne Laser (ABL) will locate and track missiles in the boost phase of their flight, then accurately point and fire the high-energy laser, destroying enemy missiles near their launch areas.

Flap was thinking this morning about Israel’s pronouncement about the possibility of attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities and wondering what would protect Israel or other American allies in the Middle East from Iran’s missile retaliation?

The controversy regarding Poland and land-based missile defense has been discussed previously. But, this program is to protect the United States and will be limited in scope.

Then, Captain Ed pointed Flap to the Airborne Laser Program which recently accomplished another successful test.

Unlike its fixed-site cousins, the ground-based interceptors deployed in California and Alaska and (hopefully) Europe, ABL aircraft can be deployed where needed and are reusable.

Not only can they patrol off unfriendly nations, they would be quite useful patrolling our shores.

We have pointed out the dangers of an Iranian freighter launching a Shahab that would detonate its warhead high over the United States, unleashing an electromagnetic pulse that would send our high-tech economy back to the days of the covered wagons.

Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, in announcing the flight testing of the ABL system in late 2005, said he welcomed critics’ comparison to the “Star Wars” movies.

He said at the rollout ceremony, in words that will make the Democratic opponents of missile defense cringe: “I believe we are building the forces of good to beat the forces of evil. . . . We are taking a major step in giving the American people their first light saber.”

Now, does the reader see the urgency to slow down the Iranian nuclear program while accelerating the testing and early deployment of such an airborne anti-missile system?

This system would deter Iran or any other nation, like North Korea from launching a surprise or retaliatory missile attack against the United States or any friend. It buys the attacked nation time to marshall resources for an effective counter-attack and creates uncertainty as to the effectiveness of the initial attack.

How many of these ABL systems do you think Israel will purchase from the United States?


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