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Boeing progresses forward with the development of its airborne laser program

Boeing is working on a devastating new weapon which could strike fear into the eyes of all American enemies. The company is progressing at a rapid pace on its 12,000-pound airborne laser.

The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) was installed into a C-130H gunship and Boeing is on track to begin in-flight tests of the weapon next year. Ground targets will be neutralized via the ATL which is incorporated into a rotating turret on the C-130H's belly.

The ATL is seen as a precise, high-power weapon that will result in less civilian causalities on the battlefield. Due to the nature of the laser being used, targets can be destroyed or disabled with extremely low levels of collateral damage. Boeing claims that the ATL is thus capable of being used on traditional battlefields or in more treacherous urban fighting.

"The installation of the high-energy laser shows that the ATL program continues to make tremendous progress toward giving the warfighter a speed-of-light, precision engagement capability that will dramatically reduce collateral damage," said Boeing Missile Defense Systems VP and GM Scott Fancher. "Next year, we will fire the laser at ground targets, demonstrating the military utility of this transformational directed energy weapon."

The ATL was developed in conjunction with Boeing’s Airborne Laser (ABL) which is fitted to a 747-400F freighter. While the ATL is aimed at destroying ground targets, the ABL is destined to fire upon ballistic missiles.

Boeing's ABL was deemed ready for flight testing in late October 2006 and successfully fired its targeting lasers at an airborne target on March 15, 2007. Boeing hopes to fire its high-energy laser at a ballistic missile in 2009.

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So I we won't need an armored tank...
By ninjit on 12/13/2007 8:59:01 PM , Rating: 0
... to protect oursleves anymore, just a high-quality shaving mirror?
And mad Jet-Li/Jackie-Chan style moves to deflect beams from multiple directions?

RE: So I we won't need an armored tank...
By Master Kenobi on 12/13/2007 9:01:26 PM , Rating: 5
Our mirrors can't repel firepower of that magnitude!

By Alexstarfire on 12/13/2007 9:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, I was just thinking about Star Wars too.

I was thinking more like Yoda and light sabers though.

Wonder when we'll discover "the force."

By Jedi2155 on 12/14/2007 3:20:24 AM , Rating: 2
Wow....just've made my day :).

By nayy on 12/14/2007 8:34:30 AM , Rating: 2

By Comdrpopnfresh on 12/13/2007 9:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think a beam of that intensity would need mirrors that the people the laser would be used against cannot afford.

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