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Missile Defense Moves Forward

Monday, Sept. 29, 2008

These are heady and crucial days for the burgeoning international missile defense system (IMD), which the United States is building in cooperation with its closest allies. Indeed, every week seems to bring with it another validation of IMD's necessity, viability or practicality. The past several weeks are no exception.

On the capabilities front, just this month, the Airborne Laser (ABL) was successfully tested aboard its demonstrator aircraft (though not yet in the air; that comes next year). "We have now demonstrated all of the technical steps needed to shoot down a boosting missile in flight," explained Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). "And we're on track to do that next year in a flight test." ...

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