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Tactical Laser Concept Examined

Photonics Spectra
May 2000
Officials from the US Department of Defense discussed the Airborne Tactical Laser concept at a conference of the National Defense Industries Association in Washington. The 300-kW chemical oxygen-iodine laser is a possible candidate for the Defense Department's advanced concept technology demonstration in 2001. Packaging studies indicated that it could be installed in the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the CH-47 Chinook helicopter or the AC-130 gunship.

The Airborne Tactical Laser is designed to destroy targets in the air, such as cruise missiles and tactical rockets, as well as ground-based systems. Marine Col. George Fenton, director of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, stressed the laser's potential to neutralize ground targets without inflicting casualties by selectively attacking tires, weapons or communications systems.

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