Monday, March 17, 2008

Airborne laser cannon:
...Later this year, scientists will put a 40,000-pound chemical laser in the belly of a gunship flying at 300 mph and take aim at targets as far away as five miles. And we're not talking aluminum cans. Boeing's new Advanced Tactical Laser will cook trucks, tanks, radio stations -- the kinds of things hit with missiles and rockets today. Whereas conventional projectiles can lose sight of their target and be shot down or deflected, the ATL moves at the speed of light and can strike several targets in rapid succession.

...Precise control over the beam's aim allows it to hit a moving target a few inches wide and confine the damage to that space. The Pentagon hopes such precision will translate into less collateral damage than even today's most accurate missiles. Future versions using different types of lasers could be mounted on smaller vehicles, such as fighter jets, helicopters and trucks.
(Via Instapundit.)