Here at LA Weekly HQ, most of us aren't your high-and-tight, guns-and-ammo types. But call us impressed. The Air Force this week successfully shot down a dummy missile with a laser over the waters of Southern California this week. Frigging lasers indeed.
This is the stuff of masturbatory Hollywood sci-fi films (and spoofs). We're thinking Kim Jong-il is bummed right now. Because all your missile are belong to us, ya dig? The test happened at 8:44 p.m. Thursday in the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range.
According to an Edwards Airforce Base statement, a short-range dummy missile was launched from a platform on the Pacific, tracked and measured by two low-energy lasers, and destroyed by a high-power laser based on an airplane.
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"This was the first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an airborne platform," stated the Air Force.
A second dummy missile was also tracked and "engaged" without being destroyed as part of the test. Suffice to say, the missile take-down was kind of a big deal.
"The men and women of the Airborne Laser Combined Test Force and 417th Flight Test Squadron fulfilled the long held promise to demonstrate the revolutionary technology ... ," stated Lt. Col. Michael R. Contratto, the flight-test squadron commander. " ... We all feel extremely honored and privileged to be a part of this effort and look forward to leading the program forward to additional successes in the future."