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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: So....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 12/14/2007 1:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
Objective of the American Military is to be able to protect american interests anywhere on the globe. It's also their objective to be able to kick ass anywhere on the globe. People complain about American's getting involved all over the world, but realistically, we have the only military that CAN get involved around the globe. Power Projection (Ability to get there, and stay there, and all the logistics involved in supplying them consistently) is still something only the USA can do. China may have a large army (Mostly infantry, solution there is tons of clusterbombs) but they have zero ability to project power around the globe. No massive air logistics, a laughable navy, driving trucks will only get you so far too since trucks are easy to search and destroy with aircraft and UAV's.


RE: So....
By calyth on 12/14/2007 5:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't one of their native-designed (read: non-Soviet) subs pop the hatch and waved hello at firing range of the Kitty Hawk, despite its 688/Seawolf/Virginia class escorts?


RE: So....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 12/16/2007 6:20:38 PM , Rating: 3
Yes. It would also be a poor assumption to think we didn't know it was there either. Problem is the U.S. won't admit it because that would give the chinese intel.


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