Boeing moved closer earlier this month to realizing a seven-year goal to demonstrate a high-powered laser as a weapon aboard a Lockheed Martin C-130H.
The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL), including its 12,000lb integrated module was integrated on the aircraft on 4 December. The combined system also was aligned with the beam control system.
Boeing plans to demonstrate the combined system in 2008 for the US Special Operations Command, completing an advanced concept technology demonstration project begun in 2001.
“Next year, we will fire the laser at ground targets, demonstrating the military utility of this transformational directed energy weapon,” Scott Fancher, VP and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, said in a statement.