Fender Bender

Boeing announced Tuesday that its Advanced Tactical Laser aircraft achieved another milestone when its high-energy laser successfully engaged a moving ground vehicle for the first time during a September test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The laser was fired at the vehicle as the aircraft flew overhead; it put a hole in the vehicle’s fender, said Boeing. This test built upon a previous test against a stationary vehicle back in August. “ATL has now precisely targeted and engaged both stationary and moving targets, demonstrating the transformational versatility of this speed-of-light, ultra-precision engagement capability that will dramatically reduce collateral damage,” said Gary Fitzmire, program director of Boeing’s directed energy systems unit. The ATL is a modified C-130H that fires the laser out of a belly turret.