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Skip to comments.How It Works: The Airborne Laser Cannon
Posted on 03/14/2008 6:08:40 AM PDT by Abathar
Boeing's new laser cannon can melt a hole in a tank from five miles away and 10,000 feet upand its ready to fly this year
Creating a laser that can melt a soda can in a lab is a finicky enough task. Later this year, scientists will put a 40,000-pound chemical laser in the belly of a gunship flying at 300 mph and take aim at targets as far away as five miles. And were not talking aluminum cans. Boeings new Advanced Tactical Laser will cook trucks, tanks, radio stationsthe kinds of things hit with missiles and rockets today. Whereas conventional projectiles can lose sight of their target and be shot down or deflected, the ATL moves at the speed of light and can strike several targets in rapid succession.
Last December, Boeing, under contract from the Department of Defense, installed a $200-million prototype of the laser into a C-130 at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico in preparation for test flights this year. From there it will go to the Air Force for more testing, and it could be in battle within five years.
I wonder if this is one of the weapons systems that Obama has threatened to cancel if he is elected, I mean after all it IS only experimental. Of course since it is a Boeing product it probably isn't safe under the McCain administration either, so I think it will be screwed no matter who gets elected...
Oops, this is an excerpt. Need more coffee I guess...
I’ll take one, fully equipped with crew, please.
I guess this could hit missiles and satellites?
For what? That thing could light your barbecue from the next county over I bet...
I don’t see a power source...
Fly it high enough up into the atmosphere and it probably could, but not on a C-130 I think. Dust off an old Apollo rocket and put it in orbit, Call it the USS Reagan II. He would get a big kick out of that I think.
I wonder if fried terrorists smell like bacon?
Barbecue!? WHAT Barbecue?
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