Friday, October 2, 2009

Test of laser from C-130H melts hood of car

Test of laser from C-130H melts hood of car: "New video released by the Air Force and Boeing Co. show what happens when a C-130H Hercules aims the Advanced Tactical Laser at the hood of car.In the video recorded Aug. 30 during a test flight at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., the laser melts the hood and sparks a fire. A press statement from Boeing said the laser ‘killed the vehicle.’The weapon uses a chemical laser that fills the cargo hold of C-130 to produce a laser beam fired from a turret mounted in the belly of a C-130.

7448C922-2F08-4580-9B8E-3B8F66E46B49.jpgIf the size of laser can be reduced, the Air Force could one day fly laser versions of the AC-130 gunships.The future of the project is in doubt as it competes for funding with other weapons, but a Boeing official said he is optimistic.‘The bottom line is that ATL works, and works very well,’ Gary Fitzmire, program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit, said in a release. ‘ATL's components — the high-energy chemical laser, beam control system and battle manager — are performing as one integrated weapon system, delivering effective laser beam energy to ground targets.’Working with Boeing on the $200 million project, which began in 2002, is the Air Force Research Lab’s Directed Energy Directorate.

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