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Bird? Plane? Laser gunship?

December 14, 2007

What’s that in the sky over Albuquerque? Snow? Well, yes, that white stuff is snow, but the big flying thing is Boeing’s C-130H, Advanced Tactical Laser. I’m not much a plane, military, or physics person, but you tell me we have flying laser gunships in town and you have my attention.

As of this month, the high-energy chemical laser that is the actual weapons portion of the ATL is now installed in a C-130H airplane, a well-proven design taking on yet another new mission. The 12,000-plus-pound chemical laser system is taking up residence alongside a separate beam control system, installed at an earlier date, that functions as the tracking and targeting apparatus.

Damn. I don’t know what any of that means, but bet it does a mean number on a microwavable burrito.

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