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Boeing's Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) which is being developed for the Department of Defense, will destroy, damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage, supporting missions on the battlefield and in urban operations, Boeing said.
Officials said a C-130H transport that belonged to the U.S. Air Force's 46th Test Wing was being modified to contain a high-energy chemical laser. The platform would also contain battle management and beam control subsystems.
Under the program, Boeing would test the aircraft in July 2006. The aircraft would have all subsystems on board except the high-energy laser. Officials said a low-power surrogate laser would be used instead of the kilowatt-class, high-energy laser.
At the same time, the high-energy laser would be completed in Albuquerque, N.M. Officials said the first ground tests of the laser would take place in the summer of 2006.
By 2007, Boeing plans to install the laser on the aircraft and operate the weapon during flight. The laser, designed to be fired through an existing 50-inch-diameter hole in the aircraft's belly, would be demonstrated for military missions.