Airborne Laser Video Released

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In August, Boeing announced that it had successfully shot a stationary truck on the ground with a laser onboard a C-130 flying overhead. Last week video of what happens when airborne laser meets truck was released showing metal sizzling from an area outlined in duct tape on the truck’s hood. Boeing earlier said the test had “defeated the vehicle” although it’s not clear in the accompanying video what, if any, damage was done besides some melted sheet metal. Still, it represents a milestone in weapons technology which will have the result of making war just a little safer for those caught in the crossfire.

The idea is to have these kinds of weapons available to carry out precision strikes that result in little collateral damage. The test more or less proved the concept but there’s plenty left to be done to make it practical. For one thing, the test involved a chemical laser, which means just what it implies, carrying containers of chemicals in the aircraft to power the beam.

More video of the laser in action from Wired‘s Danger Room.