Letter | Use lasers to down balloons
Word has come down that the Red Chinese are preparing to launch perhaps thousands of high-altitude balloons at Taiwan and the U.S. to flood our air defense systems and bleed our stock of air-to-air missiles.
Perhaps it is time to bring back the Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser weapons system that the Obama administration canceled. Just one or two of these planes could defend the entire U.S. West Coast, Alaska and Canada.
It would have the range and loitering capability, and with the advancement of laser technology over the past 10 years, it could be the low-cost answer to a low-tech problem. Shooting down a $50,000 balloon with a half-million-dollar Sidewinder just doesn’t make sense.
The decommissioned YAL-1 is sitting at the Davis-Monthan “boneyard” down in Tucson and would probably be easy to renovate. We are running out of time.
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