Stumbling Block for MDA? I am skeptical of the Missile Defense Agency’s ambition noted in “Menacing Moves” (Aug. 29-Sept. 11, p. 21). We knew what it took to perform ballistic missile boost-phase intercept with the YAL-1A.  Suppose a high-altitude unmanned aircraft could carry a laser of 1/10th the power and a beam director of 1/10th the aperture diameter. For the same wavelength and diffraction-limited performance, this would result in ...


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