US Missile Defense Agency Invests Heavily in 'Directed Energy'

© REUTERS / KCNAThe intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July 5 2017
The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen during its test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July 5 2017 - Sputnik International
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The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is making significant investments in directed energy to intercept ballistic missiles during boost phase.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — MDA Deputy Director Rear Admiral Jon Hill said at a DC think tank that the agency invests heavily in directed energy to intercept ballistic missiles during boost phase.

"What we are doing is in parallel with our kinetic interceptors… we're making a lot of investments in directed energy," Hill said on Wednesday.

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Boost Phase refers to the moments just after a missile is launched, according to MDA. During this time the missile system is still intact and vulnerable to intercept because it has not yet deployed decoys or other countermeasures. But the window of time available to intercept the target is only one to five minutes.

In June, MDA issued a request for information from the defense industry for the feasibility of developing a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft with the ability to carry a high energy laser weapon for boost phase intercept. HALE is expected to cruise at 63,000 with an operational laser by 2023.

Meanwhile, US House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said in a statement that he introduced a bill to fund national and missile defense for the entire fiscal year.

"The Continuing Resolution will fund national defense for the entire fiscal year and provide additional funds for missile defense," Frelinghuysen said on Wednesday.

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