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US mothballs airborne laser missile defense weaponUS mothballs airborne laser missile defense system, ending 15-year, $5 billion program
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) ' The Pentagon has mothballed a laser-equipped missile defense aircraft after more than 15 years of development.
The Missile Defense Agency announced this month that the Airborne Laser Test Bed ' a Boeing 747 mounted with a high-energy laser ' is being placed in long-term storage at an Arizona Air Force base. It was based at Edwards Air Force Base in the Southern California desert.
Agency spokeswoman Debra Christman tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/xEnw3z) that the program didn't have enough money to keep the jumbo jet flying.
The agency says the program, which cost about $5 billion, did complete objectives by successfully knocking down a test missile in flight off the Southern California coast in 2010.
That year, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the concept was fatally flawed.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com
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