Laser Gunship to Destroy Ground Targets Death Star-Style

We already told you about Boeing's airborne laser system, which can knock missiles, en route to a target, right out of the sky. Boeing has recently announced trials for a similar offensive system. The offensive part means the end result will be a laser gunship that will be able to destroy ground targets. Lasers? Airships? Destruction? Oh, we are spoiling you. Jump for the details.

The boffins at Boeing have tricked out an awesome C-130H, which now has the necessary equipment for tearing up any ground belonging to the bad guys. The modification required a laser module weighing in at 12,000 pounds. The new subsystem will be complemented by the older missile interceptor, which will be used in reverse to guide the destructive laser beam to enemy ground targets. We can only hope the point of laser impact is followed by a Death Star-esque explosion. Thankfully, we shall not have too long to wait to find out, as Boeing's Christmas present this year will be the promise of a demonstration in 2008. Granted, it does miss the usual deadline for Christmas, but as we do not usually receive gifts from Boeing, we will sit pretty in wait. If Boeing's Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) team could figure out a way to fit the new 12,000-pound laser cannon into a handheld device, fashioned like a lightsaber, with the essential sound bites on activation, well, that would be Christmas '08 sorted...it might happen. [Defensetech]