August 19, 2008 1 Comment
So the most interesting part of the laser truck story was that Boeing has apparently already fired theirs. I followed the link and son of a bitch it’s true. But beyond the killing power is an even more powerful weapon for governments the world over:
Boeing announced today the first ever test firing of a real-life ray gun that could become US special forces’ way to carry out covert strikes with “plausible deniability.”
In tests earlier this month at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Boeing’s Advanced Tactical Laser — a modified C-130H aircraft — “fired its high-energy chemical laser through its beam control system. The beam control system acquired a ground target and guided the laser beam to the target, as directed by ATL’s battle management system.”
Cool. The future is now.
According to the developers, the accuracy of this weapon is little short of supernatural. They claim that the pinpoint precision can make it lethal or non-lethal at will. For example, they say it can either destroy a vehicle completely, or just damage the tires to immobilize it. The illustration shows a theoretical 26-second engagement in which the beam deftly destroys “32 tires, 11 Antennae, 3 Missile Launchers, 11 EO devices, 4 Mortars, 5 Machine Guns” — while avoiding harming a truckload of refugees and the soldiers guarding them.
But aside from the killing power – which though impressive doesn’t have all the neat smoke and fire that really gives the brass a hard-on – the laser might also give the higher-ups something even more important – “plausible deniability.”