At the request of US lawmakers, the USAir Force has listed weapons programmes that could benefit from extra funding in the fiscal year 2001 US military budget request.

Principal among the projects is the Airborne Laser - a directed energy weapon mounted in a converted Boeing 747 - which suffered a $92.4 million cut from US Defense Department budget planners. This leaves $145 million to prepare for missile intercept tests.

USAF officials back the rise, saying the cut was based on affordability, not technical problems or lack of commitment.

Source: Flight International