US Military Testing Jet-Mounted Lasers in 2014

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US Military Testing Jet-Mounted Lasers in 2014

These next generation laser weapons are lighter and smaller than any before them.

The Pentagon has ordered the manufacture of several 150-kilowatt laser weapons designed to defend warplanes so that the U.S. Air Force and Navy can begin testing in 2014. The new weapons would represent a major step forward, being as much as ten times smaller and lighter than similar weapons, not to mention much more powerful than similar weapons currently in development and testing. The weapons are designed to be defensive in order to shoot down incoming missiles or projectiles, but similar weapons have been used to great effect against ground and naval targets. The U.S. Navy has used a laser to successfully disable a small craft, for example. While the weapons are first scheduled for ground based tests, the eventual goal is to mount them on jet planes for launch from ground bases and aircraft carriers.

Previously, the USAF had planned to mount a 1,000-kilowatt laser on a modified Boeing 747. The modified 747 was intended as a long range platform for hunting and destroying ballistic missiles, but those tests were scrapped due to the problems and limitations of laser weapons over great distances. The new tests don't have the same problems, because the smaller lasers mounted on drones or jets wouldn't be expected to work over such great distances. These weapons are being developed as part of a DARPA initiative called HELLADS - High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System.

Source: Tech News Daily

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We in the US are looking more and more like the Galactic Empire every day. What next, are we gonna call a new drone a TIE fighter?

Welcome
to the wooorld of tomorrrrrow

image

Although, a Boing 747 as a weapons platform? Clearly you could have used cooler planes than something FedEx uses to send hand-knitted frog trousers off of etsy around the world.

Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

I love the fact that a lot of sci-fi series were pretty much right when they said lasers would work better as a more short range weapon rather than something like a orbital death ray.

Meh. Call me when they test shark mounted lasers

Keep calm and destroy it with lazers.

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

We need those guns to kill each other. This is just for "deterrence."

kajinking:
I love the fact that a lot of sci-fi series were pretty much right when they said lasers would work better as a more short range weapon rather than something like a orbital death ray.

Keep in mind the issue here is atmospheric interference. In space distance becomes much less of an issue.

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

Your missing the point here
image

I think I've said enough.

OT: Now we just need plasma weapons and we can fight teh aleins in speace!

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

Hey now, that $600+ billion a year has to go somewhere, you know. I mean, what else would we spend it on? Education? Infrastructure? Widely available healthcare? Pfft, can any of those kill unidentified enemy combatants at the speed of light? I think not. We've already got a fleet of unmanned remote-controlled killer robots. Why not develop the ability to mount lasers on them to just totally complete the whole Doctor Doom thing the US has going right now =P

(Comic book fans. Did Doctor Doom ever create an army of robots to randomly start killing people? I genuinely don't know, but would be greatly amused if he did)

I guess a point could be made about lasers not creating collateral damage, but usually the point of signature strikes (killing unknown, totally unidentified people who are merely suspected of being enemy combatants) *is* to kill whole groups of them at a time. So I suppose a clean-kill weapon like a laser would defeat the point.

(Don't get me wrong, I full appreciate how much of a life-saver predator drones can be in the field for our soldiers and I support that tactical application. However I find the practice of "signature strikes" to be morally reprehensible, tactically wasteful, and diplomatically stupid)

yawn. Call me when we've used those mining robots from earlier today to turn the moon into the death star.

rcs619:

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

Hey now, that $600+ billion a year has to go somewhere, you know. I mean, what else would we spend it on? Education? Infrastructure? Widely available healthcare? Pfft, can any of those kill unidentified enemy combatants at the speed of light? I think not. We've already got a fleet of unmanned remote-controlled killer robots. Why not develop the ability to mount lasers on them to just totally complete the whole Doctor Doom thing the US has going right now =P

*dies of laughter* Oh god, you sir, you sir win! This needs to go on the facebook....

OT: As if we needed any more evidence of a severely overinflated defense budget.

Rest of the World: Yo bruh! You already got all the guns! Calm down!

US: Shut up! THIS ONE BREATHES FIRE!!!

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

Did you just question the use of laser beams as weapons?
Listen, laser beams are awesome. Questions and criticisms are invalid.

Xpwn3ntial:

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

Did you just question the use of laser beams as weapons?
Listen, laser beams are awesome. Questions and criticisms are invalid.

Maybe I'm just bitter at the stupid people in politics. WHY POLITICS DID YOU RUIN LASERS FOR ME!

Its a damn shame what they did to the YAL-1. But that doesn't mean they didn't just turn the project black and stuff the laser into another type of plane.

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

An AR-15 isn't going to be much help against an ICBM with a nuclear payload. The whole lazors things is mostly about developing a defensive platform for feasable use in defending against nuclear payloads, without much risk to the environment because of atomic radiation. With North Korea and Iran getting closer and closer to nukes, and getting more belligerant by the second, developing something that can safely and reliably shoot down a nuke is the differance between a feasable way to finally phase-out nuclear weapons (due to being obsolete), and some idiot lighting a match and starting a global nuclear war.

Also, adapting lasers for smaller platforms means a drone strike can be a precise thing instead of "We'll bomb this village and hope that the blast wave, fireball, and shrapnel don't kill all of the children this time."

yes, all the enemy fighter planes need to do is to just stand still for some seconds..
image

rhizhim:
yes, all the enemy fighter planes need to do is to just stand still for some seconds..
image

It would be pretty hard to dodge light. As long as you keep the target in range they're not exactly going to dodge lasers.

Besides, it's not made to take down fighter planes. It's made to counter missiles and projectiles. When the nuclear war is stopped with the might power of lazors you're going to regret that image. Mark my words.

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

Well an actual reason would be laser turrets could potentially revolutionize point defense. Basically, you point a laser at an incoming missile/plane and it explodes. No need to fire an expensive counter missile, or spray hundreds of bullets at it. Just point it at the incoming projectile and boom.
Sure it could be used offensively, but that requires getting relatively close to the target.

Xpwn3ntial:

Evil Smurf:
Why does the US need more weapons? With the shit ton of guns they already have, I think they are pretty safe from invasion.

Did you just question the use of laser beams as weapons?
Listen, laser beams are awesome. Questions and criticisms are invalid.

Exactly! How many times have you thought to yourself "Ya know, this rifle is nice, but what I could really use is a good death-ray."? For me, it's a least once a day, usually between 1:30 and 3pm. So say what you like, I won't be able to hear you over the sound of how awesome my Mk.3 Perdition™ laser cannon is.

Jaegerwolf:

kajinking:
I love the fact that a lot of sci-fi series were pretty much right when they said lasers would work better as a more short range weapon rather than something like a orbital death ray.

Keep in mind the issue here is atmospheric interference. In space distance becomes much less of an issue.

Even in space that will be a problem because the inverse square law means that the intensity will go down the further you are, here's an explanation of how it works with a laser.

Yahzee's Warfighter review underlines my point of view on this. When you have battle robots with lasers and the enermy has rocks whose the agressive super power with a much to large military expendature and whose the pissed of under dog 3rd world country. Amusing but hey I sure hope we find some aliens to beat to death soon its the only way our race will survive.

Hey, this technology is going to be useful far beyond military. It doesn't matter if the US needs lasers or not, if you want a laser toaster this is the way you're going to get it.

Jet fighters are getting point defense lasers?

I'M LIVING IN THE FUTURE

Excellent. All that needs to be done is to research EMP cannons and Firestorms, and now the U.S. can take down UFOs with ease.

If the US military stopped spending so much money on ways to kill brown people they might actually be able to get their economy back on track.

Its official, we are living in the future. How long until I get my holo-porn and jetpack?

Quaxar:

Although, a Boing 747 as a weapons platform? Clearly you could have used cooler planes than something FedEx uses to send hand-knitted frog trousers off of etsy around the world.

Because our new $66.7 billion space age, air superiority fighter is a $150 million per unit way to strangle Air Force pilots.

Relevant captcha: Face the Music

Look we have to prepare for an eventual Alien invasion. Ask yourself this: Do you really want humanity to face an inter-galactic civilization without the use of laser? Every knows that aliens are pretty much immune to conventional weaponry so we have to have reliable jet mounted lasers to stand a chance to defend ourselves.

Roelof Wesselius:
If the US military stopped spending so much money on ways to kill brown people they might actually be able to get their economy back on track.

I do always have to laugh at all the euros who cant read

> Lasers used to shoot down missiles and projectiles!
> OMG STOP SPENDING MONEY ON WAYS TO KILL BROWN PEOPLE!

And they wonder why no one takes them seriously when discussing things relating to the US.

rcs619:

I guess a point could be made about lasers not creating collateral damage, but usually the point of signature strikes (killing unknown, totally unidentified people who are merely suspected of being enemy combatants) *is* to kill whole groups of them at a time. So I suppose a clean-kill weapon like a laser would defeat the point.

I'm not sure a laser would work all that well against people, the way it does damage is through heat, on that boat it heats the bit of the engine to the point of combustion. Humans are resilient to quick bursts of heat, and the water in our tissue dampens the effectiveness of such a weapon. I think the reality is that that kind of laser would probably only cause quarter sized potholes a few centimeters deep of severely burnt flesh if you could keep it on them for a second or two. Now if that laser hit the engine and went right through, that would most certainly change things.

I have often said that we will officially be in the future when pew-pew weapons see actual combat use, possibly replacing the traditional bang-bang weaponry.
The future seems really close now.

Laser based anti air defence, laser based planets.
Folks, i welcome you, to THE FUTURE.

Happiness Assassin:
Its official, we are living in the future. How long until I get my holo-porn and jetpack?

Holoporn, I don't know, but maybe you can get a jetpack here.
http://martinjetpack.com/

Well, next year. Their target date for selling to individuals is 2014.

LordMonty:
Yahzee's Warfighter review underlines my point of view on this. When you have battle robots with lasers and the enermy has rocks whose the agressive super power with a much to large military expendature and whose the pissed of under dog 3rd world country. Amusing but hey I sure hope we find some aliens to beat to death soon its the only way our race will survive.

What Yahtzee neglected to mention is that those underdogs had the nerve to attack countries with superior weaponry in the first place. Since they're so weak, it only makes sense that they wave the white flag and beg for forgiveness for their stupidity when the tanks, jets, robots, lasers, etc show up at their doorstep, so that it can end without bloodshed and both sides can live peaceful lives. Due to stupidity, it doesn't happen.

Some terrorist organizations have acquired anti-aircraft weapons, so it makes sense that the US would keep making developments in that area. Also, if the US want to keep their status as the most powerful superpower, they need to have the best weapons. The US obviously wants to keep that status.

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