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Posted: 1/30/2006 5:45:54 AM EDT
http://www.gizmag.com/linktous/5118/

C-130H Laser Gunship Program begins

(link to this article)

January 30, 2006 Boeing Missile Defense Systems (MDS) has taken delivery of a U.S. Air Force's C-130H transport aircraft to begin preparations for the creation of the first airborn laser gunship under the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) program. Boeing will modify the aircraft to enable it to carry a high-energy chemical laser and battle management and beam control subsystemsand is expected to begin flight testing the aircraft by mid-year with all subsystems on board except the high-energy laser. A low-power surrogate laser will stand in for the kilowatt-class, high-energy laser. As if the existing “Super Spook” AC-130U Gunship isn’t frightening enough, the ATL gunship will offer speed-of-light, engagement capability with absolute surgical precision. One of the great strengths of ATL is that it avoids the collateral damage sometimes associated with such traditional weapons as bombs and missiles.

The high-energy laser is being built in Albuquerque, N.M., and is scheduled to achieve "first light" in ground tests this (Northern hemisphere) summer. Next year, Boeing will install the device on the aircraft and fire it in-flight at mission-representative ground targets to demonstrate the military utility of high-energy lasers. The laser will be fired through an existing 50-inch-diameter hole in the aircraft's belly.

Boeing is developing the Advanced Tactical Laser for the U.S. Defense Department through an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program. Following the 2007 tests, it is anticipated that DOD will approve starting ATL's full-scale development.

ATL can produce both lethal and non-lethal effects, supporting missions on the battlefield and in urban operations. It can destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage. As a directed energy weapon, the Advanced Tactical Laser is complementary to the Airborne Laser (ABL), which Boeing is developing for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to destroy ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight. ABL consists of a megawatt-class chemical laser mounted on a Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft.

"ATL will do for air-to-ground combat what ABL will do for missile defense: revolutionize the battlefield," said Pat Shanahan, Boeing Missile Defense Systems vice president and general manager. "ATL will give the warfighter a speed-of-light, precision engagement capability and avoid the kind of collateral damage sometimes associated with such traditional weapons as bombs and missiles."

Boeing's Advanced Tactical Laser industry team includes L-3 Communications/Brasher, which made the turret for the laser, and HYTEC Incorporated, which made various structural elements of the weapon system.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:49:10 AM EDT
SWEET.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:50:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 6:13:03 AM EDT by jmboom]
Wierd Science


Edit to add: Real Genius not Wierd Science I stand corrected
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:00:05 AM EDT
wounder what the guncam footage will look like on "soft" targets.. :)

POOF!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:00:20 AM EDT
Will we be able to see the beam, either with the naked eye or with NV/IR viewing equipment? That'd be pretty damn badass...

Kharn
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:01:56 AM EDT
Just add sharks!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:04:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 6:04:27 AM EDT by Gaz]

Originally Posted By jmboom:
Wierd Science



Thats the first thing I thought of.


I wonder if they will use a giant Jiffy POP as the target.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:07:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gaz:

Originally Posted By jmboom:
Wierd Science



Thats the first thing I thought of.


I wonder if they will use a giant Jiffy POP as the target.



That was Real Genius..

And they used a B1 for the test aircraft..
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:10:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dog1:

Originally Posted By Gaz:

Originally Posted By jmboom:
Wierd Science



Thats the first thing I thought of.


I wonder if they will use a giant Jiffy POP as the target.



That was Real Genius..

And they used a B1 for the test aircraft..



I just googled, and you're right. And they say the mind is the first thing to go.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:12:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dog1:

Originally Posted By Gaz:

Originally Posted By jmboom:
Wierd Science



Thats the first thing I thought of.


I wonder if they will use a giant Jiffy POP as the target.



That was Real Genius..

And they used a B1 for the test aircraft..



"homer simpson, Doh!"
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:23:58 AM EDT
What sort of damage will this laser do? Is it going to melt a small hole in the target, or will it just "cook" whatever is inside?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:25:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:27:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:


C-130H Laser Gunship Program begins



C-130H = Large Slow Target.



We have used C-130s as gunships for over 35 years now. Its never really been a problem.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:13:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:


C-130H Laser Gunship Program begins



C-130H = Large Slow Target.




How many have been shot down?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:22:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:


C-130H Laser Gunship Program begins



C-130H = Large Slow Target.



We have used C-130s as gunships for over 35 years now. Its never really been a problem.



yea Andy, I don't understand your objections, we've used gunships since '64 link and there's never been a problem
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 5:39:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 5:40:12 PM EDT by Cableman]
Speed of light weaponery.

The target computer finds all the targets, then the laser starts zapping them one by one.
That thing could kill a bunch of people real quick if perfected.
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