Precision Airborne Standoff Directed Energy Weapon
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Some commentators compared the military`s requests with fantastical science fiction. They have repeated passages from the military briefing documents where the weapon was described as like a long distance blow torch. It was described as being able to erode the morale of enemies by showing the USA had the ability to set suspects on fire from a distance. It was also described as being able to incapacitate vehicles by bursting their tires, at lower intensity levels.
- Sharon Weinberger (2007-12-03). "Marines Request 'Long-Range Blow Torch' for Iraq; Seek 'Psychological' Edge by Roasting Foes with Laser". Wired magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-02-19.
- Sharon Weinberger, Noah Shachtman. "NCIS Targets Danger Room in Silliest Leak Investigation Ever". Wired magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-02-19.
P. W. Singer (2009). Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. Penguin. ISBN 9781440685972. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
The appeal of lasers lies not just in their flexibility, but also in the belief that they would have an immense psychological effect. In 2006, the First Marine Expeditional Force, then stationed in Iraq, issued an "urgent operational need" request for the development of a "Precision Airborne Standoff Directed Energy Weapon (PASDEW)."
- David Hambling (2008-08-03). "Laser Gunship Fires; 'Deniable' Strikes Ahead?". Wired magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-02-19.
Shane McGlaun (2008-08-14). "Boeing ATL Aircraft High-Energy Laser Ground Tested". Daily Tech. Archived from the original on 2013-02-19.
Lasers have long been the stuff of science fiction and dreams, but good ideas have a habit of moving from fiction into the realm of reality. Boeing is certainly moving the laser from the realm of fiction into reality as a tactical weapon.