Boeing to test space laser weapons

2008-01-06

Richard Moore

No, you won't see 'space' mentioned in this article. But if the laser can kill 
from a high-altitude aircraft, it can operate from space, which has only a thin 
additional layer of atmosphere to go through. And we know the Pentagon is 
working space-based systems, for them space is the New Frontier of warfare. In 
addition, Boeing also makes satellites:

    http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2007/q4/071221b_nr.html

rkm

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Original source URL:
http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2007/q4/071210a_nr.html

Boeing Installs High-Energy Laser on Laser Gunship Aircraft

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 10, 2007 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has installed a 
high-energy chemical laser aboard a C-130H aircraft, achieving a key milestone 
for the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration 
program.

Boeing completed the laser installation Dec. 4 at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. 
The laser, including its major subsystem, a 12,000-pound integrated laser 
module, was moved into place aboard the aircraft and aligned with the 
previously-installed beam control system, which will direct the laser beam to 
its target.

With the laser installed, Boeing is set to conduct a series of tests leading up 
to a demonstration in 2008 in which the program will fire the laser in-flight at
mission-representative ground targets to demonstrate the military utility of 
high-energy lasers. The test team will fire the laser through a rotating turret 
that extends through the aircraft's belly.

"The installation of the high-energy laser shows that the ATL program continues 
to make tremendous progress toward giving the warfighter a speed-of-light, 
precision engagement capability that will dramatically reduce collateral 
damage," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing 
Missile Defense Systems. "Next year, we will fire the laser at ground targets, 
demonstrating the military utility of this transformational directed energy 
weapon."

The program achieved two other major milestones earlier this year. "Low-power" 
flight tests were completed in June at Kirtland; the ATL aircraft used its 
flight demonstration hardware and a low-power laser to find and track moving and
stationary ground targets. The flight demonstration hardware includes the beam 
control system; weapon system consoles, which display high-resolution imagery 
and enable the tracking of targets; and sensors. The low-power laser, a 
surrogate for the high-energy laser, hit its intended target in each of more 
than a dozen tests. Also, in late July, the high-energy laser concluded 
laboratory testing at the Davis Advanced Laser Facility at Kirtland, 
demonstrating reliable operations in more than 50 firings.

ATL, which Boeing is developing for the U.S. Department of Defense, will 
destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage, 
supporting missions on the battlefield and in urban operations. Boeing's 
Advanced Tactical Laser industry team includes L-3 Communications/Brashear, 
which made the laser turret, and HYTEC, Inc., which made various structural 
elements of the weapon system.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the 
world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and 
capabilities-driven customer solutions. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing 
Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.4 billion business with 72,000 employees 
worldwide.
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