The Amazing, Nearly Disappearing, ABL

The Amazing, Nearly Disappearing, ABL: The news of the Airborne Laser’s demise, to paraphrase Mark Twain, has been greatly exaggerated—at least according to the man who leads the effort for the Missile Defense Agency. Air Force Col. John Daniels, director of the Airborne Laser office at Kirtland AFB, N.M., told a Marshall Institute roundtable at the National Press Club that the ABL is alive and very well. He pointed out that the program has completed two critical milestones during testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. Since April 2005, there were two major achievements in the program—a low-power battle management systems integration test without the lasers and the systems integration ground test of the laser. Power and duration were significant in all tests to kill all classes of ballistic missiles, Daniels said.