Boeing straight-up stepped out of our dreams and into our hearts with its 747-mounted airborne laser designed to shoot down ballistic missiles. A project we once feared to be dead, not only is the airborne laser very much alive, but now there's even a video of the whole thing.
From our previous coverage:
For the first time ever, an airborne laser weapon mounted aboard a Boeing 747-400F blew up a sea-launched liquid-fueled ballistic missile. The light-speed laser beam shot "directed energy" from the Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB), consisting of a Northrop Grumman higher-energy laser and a Lockheed Martin beam-and-fire control system. A
Using another lower energy laser to specifically target the missile, the megawatt-class laser locked onto that missile, "heating the boosting ballistic missile to critical structural failure."
Are you seriously still reading this? The video is right down below. Click! Click it! It's not in real-time, but it gives you a good sense of the laser's tracking. Will we one day see lasers over the battlefields of tomorrow? (We'd rather there be no battlefields, but, if there has to be, watching lasers shoot down missiles is a pretty good trade.)
Via The Register