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Pentagon to boost laser investments for missile defense

“The U.S. Defense Department is planning to increase investments in directed-energy systems used for missile defense over the next several budget cycles, according to the department’s top technology adviser. Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said Tuesday he expects to have usable directed-energy weaponry in the hands of war fighters in ‘no more than a few years,’ but acknowledged the size of a system usable for missile defense requires greater investment. ‘You need another factor of three to four to have as space control weapon, a missile defense capability — space-based, boost-phase or midcourse capability — with a large directed-energy weapon. We need to be in the megawatt class to have that,’ Griffin said at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘That’s not right around the corner but that’s not utterly out of reach either. So you’re going to see in upcoming budgets for missile defense a renewed emphasis on laser scaling across several technologies because we feel we have to do that.’ Directed-energy weaponry has been a dream for decades within the department, but Pentagon planners and industry experts have become increasingly confident the use of at least small systems in the near term is realistic.”

Source: Pentagon to boost laser investments for missile defense

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