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Old 10-16-2006, 05:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Laser-cannon AC-130 tests begin

By Bruce Rolfsen
Staff writer


A laser-cannon version of the AC-130 gunship has begun flight testing, according to Air Force and Boeing Co. officials. The “low-power” flight tests began Oct. 10 and continue through the fall.

The flights over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico involve evaluating how well the laser gunship’s target tracking system works. A low-power, solid-state lasers serves as the surrogate for a high-powered chemical laser still being developed.


The high-powered laser was fired for the first time on Sept. 21 in ground tests at Albuquerque, N.M., an achievement known as "first light," a Boeing statement said. The ground tests will continue through the fall.

In 2007, Boeing will install the high-powered laser in the C-130H and fire the laser at ground targets. The laser beam will be fired through a rotating turret mounted into an existing 50-inch-diameter hole in the C-130H's belly.

The advanced tactical laser is a Defense Department and U.S. Special Operations Command advanced concept technology demonstration program with Boeing as the main contractor. Central to the project is the Air Force Research Lab's Directed Energy Directorate and the 46th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., which provided the C-130H.

A $200 million test budget will carry the project through flight testing.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gentlemen, allow me to demonstrate the awesome lethality of the Alan Parsons Project. Fire the laser!
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It must be my love of Star Wars (the movie, not the Missle Defense Program) but, I can't get over how cool these Laser weapons are. It just seems like I've been reading about this project for so long. I wanna see something in action. I want to see us shoot down the next north korean missile OVER North Korea.

Try to launch a Nuke now, BITCH!

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Old 10-16-2006, 07:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They had a feature on the Discovery channel's Future Weapons show about this. I'll try and find a link or clip to it.

They also had this: http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...future+weapons
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The tenative designation their using for Laser equipped AC's is AC-X.

The real push with the airborne laser R&D, is to seriously up power output out of semiconducter lasers - curently, it's at 40Kw, which due to some recent breakthroughs, is at least a decade ahead of prediction. They're hoping to have a 100Kw laser so it can be used in the AC - chemical lasers are less than ideal, because of the toxic residue.

Popular Science article on the breakthrough.

A video of the new laser burning through acrylic.

What's gonna be even more interesting, is when they start arming UCAV's with these things.

Flying Robots with Deathrays.


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Old 10-16-2006, 11:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I saw this in PopSci a few years back when they were talking about the first test bed being an O2 laser mounted in a boeing (something odd something)
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I've got two PopSci's at home with articles on this; unfortunately it's always seems to be "A few years away".

I wanna see crispy critters ASAP!

-MR
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It will eventually get to the point where you're living in the back of a '78 Oldsmobile with a trunk full of the finest paintball gear known to man.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There is a 747 that has a huge lazer mounted in it that is currently flying as well, Funny looking aircraft with all the crap hanging off from it.

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Old 10-17-2006, 03:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's the ABL project: photo's.

ABL = Airbourne Laser.

An article on the project.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That was a good read, thanks for the Link HTRN.

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