At last, the Missile Defense Agency Airborne Laser has killed an actual ballistic missile in mid-air. The best part: They recorded it in video. This is not Star Wars pew-pew. It actually looks like the Enterprise's phasers.
It happened February 11, 8:44 Pacific Standard Time, at the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off the central California coast. The missile—representing a SCUD—launched from a platform at sea. Second later, the Airborne Laser Test Bed's sensors—flying on a Boeing 747-400F—detected the launch, tracking its trajectory with a low-energy tracking laser. A second laser was focused ont he missile to measure the atmospheric disturbance, gathering data to achieve the perfect firing solution.
Seconds later, the ALTC unleashed its megawatt-class High Energy Laser, causing a massive structural failure in the missile as it was rising in the sky. In other words: Boom. The engagement took only two minutes, demonstrating that this weapon will be extremely useful in destroying waves of missiles, one after the other. Like Missile Command, but from the air. [Boeing and Lockheed Martin]