Video: Airborne Laser Test

Boeing and the U.S. Air Force begin testing the Advanced Tactical Laser.

A C-130 carrying an Advanced Tactical Laser. (USAF)

Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have been busy this summer testing the Advanced Tactical Laser, a high-power directed energy weapon mounted on a C-130H Hercules transport.

In this August 30 test at New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range , the laser was fired at a target for the first time, with the following result. (Later footage of the laser "defeating" the target, or rendering it completely inoperable, is not yet available.)

C-130F in Carrier Operations Evaluation In a test of the venerable and versatile C-130's suitability to support the Navy, a C-130F was equipped with an antiskid braking system and landed on the U.S.S. Forrestal. Footage courtesy Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company.

Boeing has more videos, including this aerial view of the test:

In this silent video of Boeing's Airborne Laser Testbed, the ball turret in the airplane's nose is seen rotating without firing. In a shoot-down scenario, an advanced telescope inside the turret would fire three lasers in rapid succession at a target missile shortly after launch. In February 2010, off the U.S. West coast, the Airborne Laser Testbed destroyed a missile for the first time. Because of its huge cost and other factors, it has been downgraded to a research program. Still, the airborne laser has shown that directed energy weapons are pushing warfare to the speed of light. Video: Missile Defense Agency

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