Laser Gunship Advances:

Boeing has five milestones to reach in the development of the Advanced Tactical Laser by the end of 2007, Cliff Hall, Boeing’s ATL program director, told the Daily Report Friday. The first, in May, continues low power flight testing; the second is the integration of the high-energy laser and the test C-130 aircraft from June through August; third is a high-power ground testing profile in September; fourth is high-power flight testing in October and November; and five is the “graduation exercise” set for December. The final milestone, said Hall, involves “engagement of two relevant targets” and “supporting the military utility assessment at that point.” Boeing has been working with Air Force Research Lab elements and the 46th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, Calif., which supplied the test C-130H, since 2000, when the company produced a study outlining the potential for installing a high energy laser weapon on a tactical aircraft.