Monday, April 14, 2008

I want planes with frikkin' laser-beams on their noses!

It may sound like one of those ridiculous requests made by Dr. Evil of his henchmen in the Austin Powers movies, but this is exactly what Colonel "Whopper" Creedon asked for when the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee asked what the Marine needed for the United Nations Extra Terrestrial Defence Agency (UNETIDA) to protect the planet. 5 Years on and Colonel Creedon's request does not sound so ridiculous anymore as the Department of Defense (DOD) has created a prototype of an aircraft furnished with a laser weapon dubbed the Airborne Tactical Laser (ATL), that could potentially annihilate armoured vehicles 15Km away.

Under the program, a chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) is installed on a modified C-130H more commonly known at the "Hercules" transport aircraft, simulating a future AC-130 laser equipped gunship. The ATL will be able to disable, damage and if necessary destroy targets at tactical ranges with little or no collateral damage, supporting battlefield missions and Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT). The laser will be able to place a 10-centimeter-wide beam with enough energy to melt and slice through a metal target from a distance of 15 kilometers.

ATL is expected to produce scalable effects, meaning the weapon operator will be able to select the amplitude and nature of the damage done to a target by choosing a specific aim-point and duration such as, targeting a vehicles fuel tank to destroy it or just it's tire to disable the vehicle but keep the occupants alive.

So far the laser itself has not been tested in flight, but first trials are expected during 2008. One obvious future potential ATL platform could be MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

Captain "Harpoon" Dutton KBE, Commander of UNETIDA Naval Tactical Support (CUNTS) is quoted as saying "I'll need some of these!"

Defense Update has more information here.

Source: Sith Apologist, Daily Telegraph, Defense Update

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now, Now, Lt.Col, why would the Pentagon pay all that money for an advanced weapon system like this and then mount it on something as crash happen as the Osprey?