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Chemical Laser Fired

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KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., May 21, 2008 -- Boeing Co. reported it fired a high-energy chemical laser last week aboard a C-130H aircraft in ground tests for the first time, under the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) advanced concept technology demonstration program.

The ultraprecise "warfighter" will reportedly potentially reduce so-called collateral damage on the battlefield and in urban operations.

Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, said that after conducting more tests on the ground and in the air, the program will fire the chemical laser in-flight at ground targets. The test team will fire the laser through a rotating turret that extends through the aircraft's belly. Last year the high-energy laser was tested in the laboratory at Kirtland and demonstrated in more than 50 firings.

Boeing's ATL industry team includes L-3 Communications/Brashear, which made the laser turret, and Hytec Inc., which made various structural elements of the weapon system.

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May 2008
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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