Laser Weapon Fired Above White Sands

Las Cruces – The Air Force and Boeing Company say an airborne test last month of an advanced tactical laser damaged a moving ground vehicle.

A Boeing spokesman says the Sept. 19 test was aimed at damaging, not destroying, the vehicle.

A C-130H aircraft took off from Kirtland Air Force Base and fired a high-power chemical laser above White Sands Missile Range, about 200 miles south of the Albuquerque base.

The Air Force and Boeing say the test completed the project's first air-to-ground, high-power laser firing at a mobile target.

They say the beam control system guided the laser's energy to the unoccupied target, putting a hole in a fender.

They say the test demonstrates the project's ability to aim and fire a high-energy laser beam at a moving target.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.