Don’t Tell Obama, He’ll Just Cancel The Program

Boeing Advanced Tactical Laser Defeats Ground Target in Flight Test

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 30 defeated a ground target from the air with the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) aircraft, demonstrating ATL’s first air-to-ground, high-power laser engagement of a tactically representative target.

During the test, the C-130H aircraft took off from Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and fired its high-power chemical laser through its beam control system while flying over White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The beam control system acquired the ground target — an unoccupied stationary vehicle — and guided the laser beam to the target, as directed by ATL’s battle management system. The laser beam’s energy defeated the vehicle.

“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”

The test occurred less than three months after a June 13 test in which ATL successfully fired its laser from the air for the first time, hitting a target board on the ground. The ATL team plans additional tests to further demonstrate the system’s military utility. These demonstrations support the development of systems that will conduct missions on the battlefield and in urban operations.

“The bottom line is that ATL works, and works very well” said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems’ Directed Energy Systems unit. “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”

See also:
Boeing Advanced Tactical Laser Defeats Ground Target in Flight Test
Test of laser from C-130H melts hood of car
Pew! Airborne Military Laser Takes Out Truck on Video
Video of Airborne Tactical Laser Hitting a Ground Target Is Not Very Satisfying
Meet the Advanced Tactical Laser
Directed Energy Systems (DES)
Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL)
Advanced Tactical Laser

Okay, so it’s not the most scintillating weapons demonstration ever filmed but it was an aircraft in flight, successfully hitting a specific target with a powerful chemical laser. All new weapons testing is incremental in nature. The ATL holds much future promise for battlefield effectiveness, as part of the AC-130s weapons suite or maybe, perhaps, operated from a drone.

/but seriously, don’t tell Obama, he’s already gutted the Airborne Laser (ABL) program, the ATL’s equally successful big brother