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Pew! Airborne Military Laser Takes Out Truck on Video
Popular Science.com ^ | 10/01/09 | Stewart Fox

Posted on 10/02/2009 8:50:56 AM PDT by Reaganesque

In a recent test at the White Sands Missile Range, a specially equipped C-130 plane fried a parked truck with a powerful laser. And while we still haven't seen evidence of the laser "defeating" a ground target, as Boeing puts it, a video of it scorching a direct hit on the hood of a truck is still pretty amazing.

Click here for the video.

As you can see, the laser beam burns right through the truck's hood, and then through the engine, "defeating" the vehicle. Called the "Advanced Tactical Laser" (ATL), this is the first time the megawatt-powered chemical laser has been used to engage a target in a combat simulation situation.

Now, to be far(sic), the car was parked by itself in the middle of the desert. So unless we've got a clean shot at Al-Qaeda's parking lot, the beam isn't ready for prime time. Plus, last year the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board said that "the Advanced Tactical Laser testbed has no operational utility."

Despite those reservations, Boeing is still confident that the laser will soon provide a weapon that can take out a target with little or no collateral damage.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airborne; laser; military; truck
The article contradicts itself saying that it didn't "defeat" the truck and then that it did. It is interesting video though. That a C-130 could hit a truck with a laser with such a high degree of accuracy is quite amazing. Lasers have interesting potential as a weapon. A tanker truck full of fuel for military vehicles in a convoy suddenly explodes with no warning and no obvious attacker. Or a despot somewhere is out in his backyard and suddenly he bursts into flame for no apparent reason. The prospects are intriguing and scary at the same time.
1 posted on 10/02/2009 8:50:58 AM PDT by Reaganesque
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To: Reaganesque
"Or a despot somewhere is out in his backyard and suddenly he bursts into flame for no apparent reason"

That's the ticket to winning wars before they begin!

2 posted on 10/02/2009 8:57:27 AM PDT by DocRock (All they that TAKE the sword shall perish with the sword. Matthew 26:52 Gun grabbers beware.)
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To: Reaganesque

What laser? I saw Billy Mays do that with lighter fluid on a car’s hood once!..................


3 posted on 10/02/2009 8:57:56 AM PDT by Red Badger (The Zero has more airtime than Michael Jordan...........)
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To: Reaganesque

Very cool. Stealthy. Scary. I wonder if it can penatrate rock walls? (Bin Laden caves???)


4 posted on 10/02/2009 8:58:25 AM PDT by nagdt ("speak the truth but leave immediately afterward")
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To: Reaganesque

“Or a despot somewhere is out in his backyard and suddenly he bursts into flame for no apparent reason.”

Allah is displeased, unworthy servant! Poof!


5 posted on 10/02/2009 8:59:57 AM PDT by TexasRepublic (Obama = Jim Jones coercing us into suicide on a national scale)
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To: Reaganesque
Air Force Scientific Advisory Board said that "the Advanced Tactical Laser testbed has no operational utility."

Sure it doesn't. wink wink

6 posted on 10/02/2009 9:09:31 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: Reaganesque

7 posted on 10/02/2009 9:11:46 AM PDT by eCSMaster
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To: Reaganesque

All I see are scenes from that movie Pentagon Wars. Very funny and unforturnately true.


8 posted on 10/02/2009 9:12:11 AM PDT by Cyclone59 (I ROCK, Guitar Hero said so........)
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To: subterfuge

9 posted on 10/02/2009 9:12:35 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, save Bowman for later)
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To: Reaganesque
A tanker truck full of fuel for military vehicles in a convoy suddenly explodes with no warning and no obvious attacker.

Fry the lead vehicle.

Fry the tail vehicle.

Fry any vehicle that poses a threat to the conventionally armed AH64/A10/whatever coming in to mop up the convoy.

10 posted on 10/02/2009 9:13:34 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Reaganesque

The tracking/targeting is impressive. The amount of energy isn’t...YET!


11 posted on 10/02/2009 9:14:58 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: DocRock

Spontaneous human combustion for the win!


12 posted on 10/02/2009 9:23:28 AM PDT by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: MrB

WE don’t want the news of new military technology floating around out there so the liberals can get it canceled out.


13 posted on 10/02/2009 9:28:14 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: MrB

Haha...I was wondering if anyone would post a “Real Genius” clip.


14 posted on 10/02/2009 9:28:36 AM PDT by rbg81 (DRAIN THE SWAMP!!)
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To: Reaganesque

Cool, but I would like to see the effects of the tungsten rods delivered via an ICBM warhead ..the so-called “rods from God”.


15 posted on 10/02/2009 9:52:38 AM PDT by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." M. Thatcher)
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To: subterfuge

Isn’t that the truth -

whenever there is an announcement of a successful military system,

our first thought is “how soon before the left demands it be cancelled?”


16 posted on 10/02/2009 10:51:16 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, save Bowman for later)
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To: Reaganesque
I wonder what would happen if you used the same laser on the liquid oxygen tank of a ICBM missile at launch?
17 posted on 10/02/2009 11:10:24 AM PDT by 2001convSVT ("Only Property Owners that pay taxes should have the right to Vote")
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To: 2001convSVT

Kaboom!!


18 posted on 10/02/2009 2:10:09 PM PDT by Reaganesque
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To: 2001convSVT

Thats exactly what they have planned for this flying cyclops.

http://www.astroengine.com/?p=5063

Think: strategic bomber, anti-satellite, anti-jet, missile-shield.

a might fine Hoooaahhh for this bad bird!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_YAL-1


19 posted on 10/05/2009 9:14:40 AM PDT by 1st I.D Vet (laser, defense, Ronald Regan, black ops)
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To: Reaganesque
If this works,then that means the gun crews on the AC-130's will be out of a job.

20 posted on 01/21/2010 4:50:30 AM PST by cavador (Wash your Hands-Cover that sneeze!It helps stop the H1N1 Virus)
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To: 2001convSVT

This is a tactical weapon. The 747 is still slow in development for missile shoot downs.


21 posted on 01/21/2010 4:53:28 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (usff.com)
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To: subterfuge

“WE don’t want the news of new military technology floating around out there so the liberals can get it canceled out.”

If Zero views the video he’ll dis the truck, not the laser.


22 posted on 01/21/2010 4:57:20 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Reaganesque
Big deal. This guy could wipe you out with his finger.


23 posted on 01/21/2010 5:12:46 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Pants on the ground pants on the ground lookin like a fool wit yo pants on the ground)
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To: MrB

Thanks for the ping!


24 posted on 01/22/2010 9:51:31 AM PST by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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