Video of Airborne Tactical Laser Hitting a Ground Target Is Not Very Satisfying

Illustration for article titled Video of Airborne Tactical Laser Hitting a Ground Target Is Not Very Satisfying

You might remember that the U.S. Air Force and Boeing have equipped a C-130 plane with an Advanced Tactical Laser for initial air-to-air tests. In September, it finally hit something successfully: A truck. Cool enough, but don't expect any explosions.

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The parked truck's hood and engine gets burned through like butter, and as you can see, the accuracy is pretty amazing. If this was a missile, it would have exploded in the air. The laser can produce between 100-300 kW of power, and the next step is to trial it on moving targets.

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Even though the Air Force has scaled back the ambitious program's funding, perhaps we may still see the laser make it to battlefields. Maybe on the 250-Foot Long Hybrid Airship that will spy over Afghanistan in 2011? [Boeing via PopSci]

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DISCUSSION

hello-mister-walrus-old
Hello Mister Walrus

That video looks like it was fast forwarded. How long does it really take to fry a truck? It seems like a huge plane following some small vehicle for 15 minutes, slowly heating it with a laser, would be the most awkward battle ever.