US Laser Aircraft Performs First Firing


The US Air Force, supported by Boeing, has fired a high-power laser for the first time from its advanced tactical laser (ATL) aircraft in flight.

The ATL test successfully hit a board on the ground from a C-130H aircraft equipped with a chemical laser, a beam control system, sensors and weapon system consoles.

Boeing Directed Energy Systems vice president and programme director Gary Fitzmire said that test fire showed the feasibility of firing a high-power laser in flight and delivering laser beam energy to a ground target.

"ATL's ultra-precision engagement capability will dramatically reduce collateral damage," Fitzmire said.

The system is designed to destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage.

The ATL will be tested further to demonstrate its capabilities.