We don’t need no stinkin’ planet-sized vehicle to tote our laser around . . .
According to a Boeing press release, the company has begun initial testing of its Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL). The Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program (what is it with military contractors and acronyms?) includes switching on the laser for a short period in order to avoid total planetary destruction like what occurred during the Death Star’s first test on Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderon.
The system is apparently designed so that jets equipped with the weapon can disable chemical and nuclear missiles before they can arm their warheads, while providing peace of mind for passengers and pilots – civilian and military. Various reports state that the anti-missile laser will be mounted on 747s and is designed to shoot down missiles from hundreds of miles away.
According to a Boeing spokesperson:
“ATL will transform the battlefield by giving the warfighter a speed-of-light, precision engagement capability that will reduce collateral damage dramatically . . .”
But what about turbulence? Isn’t firing a laser from a bouncing aircraft a hundred miles from its target sorta like relying on a sniper with Parkinson’s disease?
This is old news, anyway. A bunch of college students already had this working in the 1985 movie, Real Genius.