Laser Gunship Takes to the Air

Boeing is in the midst of “low power” flight tests for the advanced tactical laser and expects to conclude the tests, which employ a C-130H from Air Force Materiel Command’s 46th Test Wing, later this fall. During the testing at White Sands Missile Range, a Boeing news release says the ATL aircraft will “find and track ground targets,” using a “low-power solid-state laser as surrogate for the ATL’s high-power chemical laser. The company, which generated “first light” in ground tests of the ATL’s laser last month, plans to install the ATL laser on the C-130H and fire it in-flight at representative ground targets some time next year.