Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Kirtland Lab Crafts Orbital Weapons.

Byline: John J. Lumpkin Journal Staff Writer

* Lasers as well as defenses for satellites are among aims of scientists, engineers

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE The offense and defense of space warfare are being developed a few buildings apart.

They are still frequently referred to as the Phillips labs, although they haven't formally held that moniker since 1997. Now they are the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy and Space Vehicles directorates.

Directed Energy is the offense. Here scientists and engineers build and test powerful lasers and microwave weapons that can burn missiles and fry electronics. While these weapons also have uses in the atmosphere, they are seen as the primary means of attacking targets in space.

Directed Energy's work spawned the Space Based Laser program, which has offices at Kirtland. The program proposes to mount laser cannons on a constellation of satellites orbiting the Earth. …

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