Boeing Developing Planes with Frickin Laser Beams

As far as air-to-ground weapons go, bombs are effective but not known for their precision. That's why Boeing is hard at work on a project the U.S. military has long lusted after: plane-mounted lasers. Once we get these things operational, putting your munitions factories next to your day-care centers isn't going to work anymore, and we're already at the testing stage. Watch out, Enemies of Freedom!



Boeing calls it the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL). It fires from a belly-mounted rotating turret mounted to a modified C-130H cargo plane. On May 13, the chemical laser was tested on the ground. Soon, they'll advance to actual air-to-ground testing against fake targets. No actual test data or specifications for the laser (or the damage it can do) have been released.

The problem with laser weapons is that they are heavy and bulky. Until they get a lot lighter, there's not much chance that a bomber squadron is going to replace a bunch of payload with one of these things, unless it's for public relations. Not that it isn't nice to see the military developing super advanced weapons so they kill fewer people. No word if the lasers will be Cobra Blue or G.I. Joe Red. Original Image by: U.S. Navy.

Laser Blaster Gunship Closer to Flight Test. [Defense Tech]