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US mothballs airborne laser missile defense weapon

US mothballs airborne laser missile defense system, ending 15-year, $5 billion program By The Associated Press

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 ( 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,

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