US very close to having laser missile defense

Defense One:
The Pentagon is looking to lasers as a cheaper, more effective way to shoot down long-range missiles fired at the United States by North Korea and Iran.

After experimenting with the technology for more than a decade, U.S. military officials said “directed energy” is near the point where they could use it on the battlefield.

“It’s not a hope. This is what we’re doing,” Vice Adm. James Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said Wednesday. “I view this [as] highly important for the future.”

Syring and other military officials struck a common theme at this week’s annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium, arguing that lasers could ultimately augment existing missile interceptors. They want lasers for two main reasons: they could shoot down missiles earlier than today’s interceptors and they’re much cheaper to fire.

“We have to deal with the fact that our interceptors are more costly,” said Katrina McFarland, the Army’s acting acquisition executive. “The cost dimension of warfare must be switched from our side to the adversary side.”
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With Iran and North Korea threatening the US with nuclear missiles, making their missiles worthless is a sound objective.  An ever more aggressive Russia must also be dealt with.  These weapons can also defend the fleet from the carrier killer missiles being developed by China.

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