The Airborne Laser (ABL)
is now under development (a modified Boeing 747) and is a key part of the U.S. Star Wars program. It's job would be to fly over an "offending territory" 24 hours a day and fire a laser beam from the turret in the nose cone knocking down nuclear missiles soon after they had been launched.
It's real job is to mop up after a U.S. first-strike attack, picking off any lone missiles that might be fired in retaliation after the initial U.S. volley. (It should be noted that the U.S. Space Command has been war gaming such an attack on China for the past few years. Set in the year 2016 the Pentagon launches a first-strike attack against Chinese nuclear missiles.)
The key problem with the ABL is that the technology is quite difficult to make work properly. Thus the program, like most space technology programs, is way behind schedule and well over budget.
In the recent Congressional Defense Authorization process the House of Representatives wanted to give the ABL $300 million for research and development in the coming year and the Senate wanted to fund the program at $350 million. It was sent to a joint House-Senate "conference committee" to resolve the difference. Their decision was to fund the project at $513.8 million.
The Congressional Budget Office has made a preliminary estimate that the ABL program could cost as much as $36.0 billion to develop, procure, and operate a fleet of seven aircraft for 20 years.
The ABL is being developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM) and Team ABL, comprising Boeing (Wichita, Kansas), TRW (now Northrop Grumman Space Technologies) and Lockheed Martin.
Boeing is responsible for program management, systems integration, battle management system and modification of the aircraft. TRW is building the laser systems. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is responsible for the target acquisition and beam control systems.
The first prototype is scheduled for completion in late 2008 with high-power testing to begin by the end of the year. Missile intercept testing will start in 2009.
According to the head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, Lt. Gen. Trey Obering, "I believe we are building the forces of good to beat the forces of evil
. We are taking the first major step towards giving the American people their first light saber. This is not the prettiest aircraft I have seen. It is not supposed to be pretty. It is supposed to be mean."
The Pentagon mentions that this "force of good" weapon system would be used to "protect" the U.S. against North Korea and Iran but the fact is that it is being developed to contain China.
The U.S. is now militarily surrounding China by doubling its Naval presence in the Asian-Pacific region, deploying Aegis destroyers outfitted with "missile defense" systems on-board just off China's coast, and expanding runways in Japan and Guam to handle long range bombers. Bases in South Korea are also being expanded as the Pentagon intends to militarize the region forcing all allied countries to make "upgrades" to their weapons systems thus generating another generation of profits for the military industrial complex.
Just as chaos and instability has been brought to the Middle East by arming all sides and creating endless war in the region, the plan for the Asian-Pacific is the same. The U.S. empire's strategy is to rule by force of violence. Where there is presently no violence, it will be brought to ensure control through madness.
Only a very sick culture would act like this. The U.S. is addicted to war and violence. Hitler would have admired the current U.S. military machine.