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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: pteridine
LWSD is being built for the Navy. It's going to have the same problems that the YAL-1 had with range though. That's a fairly inherent problem with any laser.
Regional Defense – Aegis BMD Engagement Capability
Defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase, ballistic missile threats with the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-2.
Flight tests are conducted by Fleet warships. Each test increases the operational realism and complexity of targets and scenarios and is witnessed by Navy and Defense Department testing evaluators.
Homeland Defense – Aegis BMD Long Range Surveillance and Track
Aegis BMD ships on Ballistic Missile Defense patrol, detect and track ballistic missiles of all ranges — including Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and report track data to the missile defense system. This capability shares tracking data to cue other missile defense sensors and provides fire control data to Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptors located at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California and other elements of the BMDS including land-based firing units (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, Patriot) and other Navy BMD ships.
"The Missile Defence Agency demonstrated the potential use of directed energy to defend against ballistic missiles when the Airborne Laser Test-bed (ALTB) successfully destroyed a boosting ballistic missile," the agency said.
The project has been in the works for a few years now, and has met with significant success in preliminary trials. In 2012, it was reported that a CHAMP mission in Utah managed to hit and subsequently disable seven separate targets in one mission, demonstrating its accuracy and precision.