USAF Interest in Lasers Triggers Concerns About Anti-Satellite Weapons
By JEREMY SINGER
Space News Staff Writer
posted: 28 April 2006
05:20 PM ET
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force's interest in experimenting with laser technology is being criticized by some members of Congress who complain the service is moving toward the development of anti-satellite weapons without a policy debate about the wisdom of deploying such weapons.
U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, raised the issue during an April 26 markup session on the Pentagon's 2007 defense budget request.
Sanchez said during the markup that she had planned to introduce an amendment to the 2007 defense authorization legislation that would have stripped funding from the Air Force's request for the Advanced Optics and Laser Space Technology program. However, Sanchez said she chose not to offer that amendment after she secured an agreement from Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.), chairman of the strategic forces subcommittee, to limit the reduction to just those experiments specifically labeled in the Air Force's budget justification materials as having application to anti-satellite weapons.