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VIDEO: Boeing's Advanced Tactical Laser; Pew

Laser cannons mounted on jet planes? Yes, that is the future. Early last month, Boeing announced that it successfully defeated a ground target using its Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) aircraft, marking the ship's first air-to-ground, high-power laser engagement.

Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit, said that the weapon performed extremely well during the test, and that its three main components--the high-energy chemical laser, beam control system and battle manager--worked correctly in unison to provide an effective laser beam.

"This milestone demonstrates that directed energy weapon systems will transform the battlespace and save lives by giving warfighters a speed-of-light, ultra-precision engagement capability that will dramatically reduce collateral damage," said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. "By demonstrating this capability, the ATL team has earned a distinguished place in the history of weapon system development."

Now we have a video showing the ATL in action. Of course, the test target appears to be a stationary vehicle, and the effects of the laser don't seem to be very devastating, but this is likely only a light taste of what's truly possible.

  • Jazzmain
  • acecombat
    When are they going to invent a wearable energy shield that can protect me from lasers???
  • kyeana
    Bring on the phasers!
  • XD_dued
    Time to upgrade my energy weapons stat! XD
  • fonzy
    I wonder if Moore's law applies to lasers?...probably not.
  • clayman1982
    I'm more concerned about Murphy's than Moore's law with this one. ;)
  • Ciuy
    Star Wars is soo close :x
  • darkknight22
    So we the good guys get the blue laser, and the evil people get the red lasers right?
  • redgarl
    Scotty, turn on the shields!
  • bustapr
    I doubt that was fired from an aircraft.
    It's too steady and such a small target area.