Last week Boeing fired their high-energy chemical laser aboard a C-130 Hercules aircraft for the first time ever, which is the first step in the final sprint to achieve a fully functional laser-based anti-missile system next year. By year's end the Advanced Tactical Laser will be firing at ground targets. According to Boeing, the ATL will "destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage," thanks to its "ultra-precision engagement capability." I'm sure the dudes defending the Rebel Base at Hoth were delighted with that thought. [Boeing]
@GeekyNerdGuy: No, not at all! :P
Boeing has no picture of the aircraft in question, but they do mention the C-130H.
ST. LOUIS, May 19, 2008 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has fired a high-energy chemical laser aboard a C-130H aircraft in ground tests for the first time, achieving a key milestone for the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program.
The successful laser firing occurred May 13 at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.