First Laser C-130 On Tap:

Boeing now has the first USAF C-130 to modify to carry the Advanced Tactical Laser and battle management and beam control subsystems. The Pentagon expects the ATL concept technology program to produce a high-energy laser gunship capability for Special Operations. The company plans to begin flight tests this summer, employing all systems except the high-energy laser. Instead, it will use a low-power surrogate. Boeing has slated “first light” ground tests for the full-up HE laser this summer and expects to install it on board the C-130H and fire it by 2007.