Last night at 8:44pm Cali time, the Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) successfully “destroyed” a liquid-fueled ballistic missile from an airborne platform, according to the Missile Defense Agency. A first for the directed energy weapon that we’ve been following since 2006. The dirty work was achieve by a modified Boeing 747-400F airframe fitted with a Northrop Grumman higher-energy laser and Lockheed Martin beam and fire control system. After an at-sea launch, the ALTB used a low-energy laser to track the target. A second, low-energy laser was used to measure and compensate for atmospheric disturbances before the megawatt-class laser was fired, “heating the boosting ballistic missile to critical structural failure.” The entire episode was over just two minutes after missile launch.