The newly-released US Air Force Transformation Flight Plan reaffirms the USA's commitment to space-based weaponry and brings future 'Star Wars' technology closer to reality.

The 176-page plan outlines the importance of future air-launched anti-satellite missiles, space-based radio frequency energy weapons and lasers. It also outlines "hypervelocity rod bundles" which could be fired at ground-based targets anywhere in the world.

It shows how much emphasis is placed on protecting the US military's space-based communication and navigational satellite systems, adding that the US Air Force recently completed a Directed Energy Master Plan, outlining its strategy to develop directed energy applications.

The plan identified six directed energy science and technology programmes that the USAF would like to develop if funding was accelerated: Advanced Tactical Laser, High Powered Microwave Airborne Electronic Attack, Airborne Active Denial System, the Evolutionary Air and Space Global Laser Engagement, and the 100 Kw Solid State Laser.

The timescale for these projects runs from the near future to 2015. This new Transformation Flight Plan shows that the USA is also keen to deny access to space by possible and actual adversaries.

It says this: "É is essential so that future adversaries will be unable to exploit space in the same way the United States and its allies can. It will require full spectrum, sea, air, land, and space-based offensive counterspace systems capable of preventing unauthorised use of friendly space services and negating adversarial space capabilities from low Earth up to geosynchronous orbits."

Source: Flight Daily News