Progress in airborne tactical lasers

June 27, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized 

ELP points out to an interesting reportlaser130 about the successful airborne tests of Boeing’s Advanced Tactical Laser:

During the test, the specially modified 46th Test Wing NC-130H aircraft equipped with the ATL weapon system took off from Kirtland and fired its laser while flying over White Sands Missile Range, N.M., successfully hitting a target board located on the ground. ATL is equipped with a chemical laser, a beam control system, sensors and weapon-system consoles.
"We have taken technology from the laboratory to reality and have now demonstrated that directed energy is on a path toward a safe and viable option for the warfighter with very unique capabilities," said Eric Van Dorn, 413th FLTS lead flight test engineer.

ELP correctly points out both the tactical implications and also the logistics considerations:

It will be interesting to see what the cost of ownership will be if it develops into a reliable weapons system. For example not having to have munitions people and conventional munitions to support the aircraft saves many different colors-of-money in the combat theater. The reverse is true – it will be interesting what kind of field support this thing will require in a real shooting war.


One Response to “Progress in airborne tactical lasers”

  1. SlamEagleF15K on July 5th, 2009 8:18 am

    So the ABL program is not totally off the scene after all..for logistic concerns,I recall from a paper article that an airborne Iodine laser system can store up chemical and catalysts required to 30~40 bursts,and HPM(High Microwave) systems capable of buring out the internal navigational and guidance systems as almost infinite capability as long the power from the engines are coming from the fuel tanks.

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