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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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RE: Less collateral damage
By Master Kenobi on 12/14/2007 10:16:42 AM , Rating: 3
I am not sure how old you are, but war is certainly a glorified thing to you. You probably think that after someone dies, they just respawn.

Incorrect. Someone dies, they die end of debate. I also think its unrealistic to not fight for what you believe to be right. If it's important (America and the freedoms we enjoy) then people will find it worth fighting for, and find it worth dieing for. In general the U.S. does not pick a fight, as much as we get involved in one that is being stirred up. 9/11 led to Afganistan, they picked a fight with us, and we responded. Iraq was Saddam Hussein playing games with the last 5 U.S. Presidents, and it was decided he needed to be taken care of. (On that same logic, sometimes I wonder how many times they have considered taking out Fidel Castro, hes been a thorn in the side of the last like 11+ presidents)

Only thing I objected to was that as soon as you read this news you took out your American flag and started parading on the road. :-)

Nothing wrong with having some pride in my country, and waving technological advancements for all to see. This week its a super laser, next week a new moon lander. It's all in perspective.

This trend should continue as standard of living gets better and people get more educated. Then the risk of loosing what they have will be a big deterrant from starting a war.

The problem is becoming less and less with whole countries. Wars from the past where it was one country against another will largely die down, I agree. Wars will still be faught in the same style that we see Russia having to deal with, bands of "freedom fighters" or just large groups of renegades standing behind someone who has questionable mental stability trying to stir shit up. I guess you could refer to them as "conflicts" rather than "wars" since the number of involved people will be smaller.

As for picking fights...I dont think any country has picked a fight with US directly since Pearl Harbour. US has chosen which war it fancies, picked a side and put on a grand show of their latest arsenal.

Country, no. Rulers or Nutcases, yes. Saddam, Osama, Chavez, Castro, etc... If they cause enough problems and cause enough headaches, sooner or later someone will get tired of it and do something about it. Russia is dealing with similiar problems with groups that formed after the fall of the USSR. India has to deal with Pakistani insurgents. Pakistan dealing with Muslim Extremeist Insurgents. Israel having to deal with a couple of neighbors that don't like them.

It really just depends on how you classify a war. I find it a "war" anytime we have to shift resources to deal with a continuing problem that can't be solved in one quick show of force. Maybe my definition is just more broad than yours.

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