US Military Testing Jet-Mounted Lasers in 2014

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Spartan448:

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."

Didn't they scrap the whole ICBM defense project. In terms a missile defense this would probably be better suited for knocking out incoming SAMs.

Doom972:

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.

He also fails to mention that the scene in that game (I youtubed it) is preceded by about 20 guys with RPGS blowing the ever loving fuck out of a robot, and a squad it is protecting, before one of the people comes over and smashes its camera in with a rock, after blowing it to hell with said RPGs...

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.

Invasion? No, no, no, this system is for deterrence and police action. With emphasis on defense at this stage.

Police action in this case refers to say a drug smuggling boat being disabled by the laser system. Or maybe even a police chase where the police can shoot the laser to flatten tires or, dare I dream, car engines.

The military does it first because they have the budget. 10 years later law-enforcement, and 20 years after them I will be evoking my second amendment rights to have a laser gun for deer hunting. I wonder if it would damage the meat and hide too much???

FelixG:

Doom972:

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.

He also fails to mention that the scene in that game (I youtubed it) is preceded by about 20 guys with RPGS blowing the ever loving fuck out of a robot, and a squad it is protecting, before one of the people comes over and smashes its camera in with a rock, after blowing it to hell with said RPGs...

Can you please post a link to it?

Doom972:

FelixG:

Doom972:

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.

He also fails to mention that the scene in that game (I youtubed it) is preceded by about 20 guys with RPGS blowing the ever loving fuck out of a robot, and a squad it is protecting, before one of the people comes over and smashes its camera in with a rock, after blowing it to hell with said RPGs...

Can you please post a link to it?

Sure I would be happy to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlWfnNeGKvU&t=1m6s

I even included the time link to get to the part he was talking about.

You van definately tell the squad you went to support is deader than dirt because the terrorist just calmly strolls up to the wrecked drone and bashes its camera in and there is no more gunfire in the background.

Unfortunately, I can already see this being used for 'surgical' drone strikes in Pakistan, since the lack of explosion effectively limits collateral damage (and evidence of involvement).

Instead of lying awake at night wondering if Obama's death robots will blow them up, now people are going to lie awake at night wondering if the President's death robots with silently burn them alive as they walk down the street one day.

I see no possible way this could come back and bite the western world in the arse...

DVS BSTrD:
Keep calm and destroy it with lazers.

You rang?

Saviordd1:

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!

You know that it won't be possible without elerium power cells to feed them right?
And since it can't be found on Earth it can cause few problems.
BUT
In mere 10-15y there will be manned mission to Mars so that they can bring back the good stuff from Cydonia
OR
We all can dress up in dresses and wigs, sit around UFO landing hotspots, loudly repeating "I hope nothing interrupts this lovely picnic"
Whatever gets us closer to elerium, but only after that we can start to develop and build plasma.

Spartan448:
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.

Not true, or at least not the way they are being developed at the moment. The YAL was more along those lines, though, but then you need to have your planes in the air in advance. The US has been mucking about with ABM systems for decades though.

Also, it's not shooting down a nuke, it's shooting down a missile, there's other delivery methods. And even if a NK or Iranian nuclear armed missile was shot down, the US would almost certainly level the country anyway. Which is why they aren't going to launch.

Spartan448:
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."

Drone strikes already are very precise, though, the problem is that you have to be very sure what you are shooting at, which is still going to be a problem. You can just as easily kill a random civilian thinking they are someone else with a laser as with a missile.

Xan Krieger:
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?

Hey, we in the UK is trying to keep up. With Skynet and Taranis http://deadlinelive.info/2013/01/30/taranis-britains-deadly-superdrone-that-even-picks-its-own-targets/ we can't let you get too far ahead in the "likely to destroy humanity" stakes.

I'm even going to go full Daily Mail on this one and claim that as a military comms system Skynet could well be used in controlling the drones. Bam! Judgement day is coming.

jamesbrown:

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.

Well yes, but I said less of an issue, not that it would stop being an issue. You wont have to deal with all those pesky air molecules scattering your laser.

Right, I've had a warning on another thread where I stated my support for another poster's viewpoint in an arguably far too terse manner... and in the spirit of this thread ("ain't no response like a disproportionate response") I'm about to go completely the other way.

Not that I probably wouldn't have done anyway ... I ... hmm. I dunno. Maybe suffering from a desire to show how my posting style is flexible?

Quaxar:

Although, a Boing 747 as a weapons platform? Clearly you could have used cooler planes than something FedEx uses

I dunno man, it's a bit like the Toyota Hiluxes in Libya. Disregarding the Top Gear veneration, they were simply well-built, default-choice 4x4s. Then dudes started mounting machine guns and rocket launchers and crazy home made armour systems on them, and they became cool as hell as a result.

B747, normally: faintly impressive but mostly dull sky-tram.
B747 with a Megawatt laser mounted on it: oh holy fuck that's cool, I might have just wet myself slightly.

Besides, it's not like there isn't precedent for this stuff. The Boeing E3 Sentry, aka The AWACS Plane for those of us of a certain (F19 Stealth Fighter playing) age, is totes just a 707 with a big fuck-off radar dish stuck on top of it. It's still awesome.

rcs619:

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?

= brief pause for everyone to read and digest the above figures and ideas, whilst I pour out a packet of golden virginia for m'good man Hicks =

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

I'm thinking less Dr Doom, more Terminator. Honestly. Let's just do the apocalpytic maths.

Predator Drone + Quadrotor + someone's internet-based AI research gone bezerk after accidentally combining with a piece of malware + Laser weaponry = Hunter-Killer...

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.

Depends on how quickly it can effect the kill, and the duty cycle (or how many simultaneous shots it can get off, with a suitably accurate split-targeting system), plus how sensitive the surrounding infrastructure / obstacles / crowd of children being used as human shields is. Five notable baddies surrounding themselves with kids and barrels of gasoline/packs of C4 on top of an important highway bridge... pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, and you're done. Plus you get to recover the bodies for proper identification, and collect their guns and explosives for re-use.

I find the practice of "signature strikes" to be morally reprehensible, tactically wasteful, and diplomatically stupid)

How so? Particularly if you can make it as surgical as that?

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

OK, I'm no longer thinking "Terminator". I'm thinking "Descent".
(and another brief pause for everyone under the age of about 21~25 to go google that)

Xpwn3ntial:

Listen, laser beams are awesome. Questions and criticisms are invalid.

This ... well, up to a point. You have to take care to watch out for the power they bring being abused. Same as heavy convenional weapons getting into the hands of inbred southern Joe Q Nutjob-Racist...

Antari:
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.

*googles*
Ah, the MW-Laser-equipped 747. That actually looks damn cool. Like an evil Rudolph. The beam is surprisingly wide, though. Like they just bundled a load of high-power laser pointers together or something.

Why turn the project black AFTER showing it to the whole world? That's totally missing the point. Black Ops are the things we don't even properly hear rumours about until they've already been in active service for ten years... It's pretty hard to hide a plane of that size anyway.

It's also pretty hard to mount a megawatt power source into something much smaller than that, at least not if you want to make any kind of continual use. 1000kW is equivalent to about 1350 horsepower. You could run it off a reasonably compact battery system, but you wouldn't get a great deal of continuous runtime. More realistically you'll have a couple of heavy duty generators (one as backup...) being driven by at least a pair (each) of souped-up truck engines, or possibly a locomotive engine. At the extreme, a top-end supercar engine, which would be relatively light and compact, but would chow fuel like crazy and wouldn't stand up to being run full-tilt for particularly long periods... good for occasional or emergency use, but not for battlefield deployment. There's a reason locos actually run at very low rpm and have surprisingly poor power density as a result, and that's because they need to be built that way to be in any way reliable or efficient.

I wouldn't, however, bet against it either running off some kind of turbine generator, or even sapping power off the plane's own engines somehow to charge a bank of supercapacitors, with, say, a 10 seconds per minute duty cycle, or 5 seconds for "continual" use (10 shots of a half second each, maybe).

You could arguably try and rig up something that could be driven off a fighter's engines, seeing as they're proportionally much more powerful (for the plane's size) than a passenger jet. This might be the case for the smaller several-hundred-kW units...

But, at least in the protoyping stage, you're gonna use something large. If not a 747, then an A380 or 787... with the USAF having chosen exactly the wrong time to make the switch. Hugely powerful lasers plus lithium ion batteries that have a fire-risk controller fault? Great.

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

So missile guidance systems from the 70s are able to keep a rocket-powered bundle of explosives accurately on target whilst hurtling towards an unfortunate, violently jinking MiG at a potential closing speed of about Mach 5, but we haven't in 2013 the ability to keep a laser beam sufficiently focussed on the same target (who may not have even yet noticed a threat, as there's no flaming tubes of death hurtling through the sky) long enough for it to have an effect?

In any case, you're thinking all wrong. If you've got a megawatt laser at your disposal, and you're taking on fighter planes, you don't aim for the plane itself at first unless you can take them down within a second or so, as it'll quickly launch countermeasures and go into a defensive aerobatic display. You aim your sky-penetrating laser sword at the pilot's face. Or at the tips of any externally mounted ordinance. Or, hell, just part of the canopy support so it pops off - the 600 to 1800mph hurricane that the pilot suddenly encounters will do the rest.

Once the plane is sufficiently out of intelligent control, you can either proceed to carving up the engines, wings and bodywork at your leisure, or just watch as it crashes by itself.

jamesbrown:

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 away

Yes, but bear in mind - as stated in said article - that the laser starts off with a serious advantage in terms of concentrated power. And there's always room for improvement in terms of tighter initial focus, converging several beams at a particular distant focal point (always a good way to get around the usual "physics 101" problems of wave-particle beams, e.g. in radiotherapy and such), packetisation of a beam of similar average power into shorter, stronger, individually more damaging spurts, etc.

Bear in mind the sheer power we're dealing with here. It'd be somewhat damaging if you just had a load of incandescent light bulbs of the same total wattage that you shoved into a huge reflector and focussed down to a similar diameter, never mind a coherent, monochromatic laser with its output colour tuned to whatever will be best absorbed by the target.

MeChaNiZ3D:
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.

I respectfully disagree. Laser toasters will come about as a combination of communications-grade laser technology with that of laser-LED micromirror data projectors.

You can already get the latter with equivalent output to a traditional 200w halogen-bulb-powered projector or better (despite using a fair bit less power), and infrared lasers are already used for fibre optic networks and such. Add N to X, ramp up the power as we don't need to worry about ruining a sensitive imaging device (even if we want to put pictures on our toast, we can use a much simpler type of scanning mirror and plain on/off switching of the laser without needing to bother with intensity control), bingo, perfect laser-cooked toast in thirty seconds flat with your choice of design without it even leaving the plate. It'll even cut the crusts off if you so desire. (Robot-controlled automatic bread-flipping and buttering arm* optional)

(* the arm will, ultimately, be holding a knife as well as a spatula, and be attacked to a device that shoots high-powered invisible heat rays, hence the customer will be required to sign a waiver disclaiming the merchant of any culpability should the robot go crazy and start attacking the household)

Do4600:
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.

OK, let's recap here.
* Dude, friggin' HEAT RAYS. The US military has become the martians from the war of the worlds.
* That demo with the boat engines? Three things to bear in mind. One, both boats were moving relative to each other, in moderately choppy seas with 4ft high waves. Two, the boat taking the shot was A MILE AWAY from the target. Three, that was a mere FIFTEEN KILOWATT laser.

The one mounted on the 747 is a MEGAWATT, or 1000kW; 67x more powerful. Those mounted on smaller planes or for practical ground-transportable use may be a few hundred kW. Plus, a person running around (or, say, sitting having their terrorist lunch oblivious to the danger they're in) is probably a whole lot easier to draw a bead on than a dinghy bobbing around in the Pacific. And there's a good chance you'd be closer to them than a mile away. Never mind that flesh sears and chars a WHOLE lot MORE readily than plate steel. You know, the stuff you use on top of the stove to cook your steaks?

Go do something for me. Go to your stove, or a friend's electric one if yours is gas powered, and turn on one of the hotplates to full (this will be roughly equivalent to between 1 and 2 kilowatts of heating power, spread over a 4 to 10 inch diameter). If it's an induction hob, put a suitably sized pan over the coil. Hold your hand on top of it as you do so and tell me how long it's comfortable for you to keep it there. If you're brave, hold it there until you get a first degree burn and count how long that takes.

Divide that time first by how much more 15kW is vs your hotplate's output, and then by the square of its diameter in inches, to know how long you would personally be able to stand up to the navy-issue laser gun. Change 15kW for 100, or 1000, to have an estimate of the fighter or jumbo jet mounted ones.

Yeah, you're going to be able to put "quarter sized potholes a few centimetres deep" into your enemies quite readily with something like this. Which prompts a pressing question about what's going on in your brain here: wouldn't that kind of injury, in a more traditional setting, be known as "stab wounds where the perp rotated the blade", or "bullet wounds from anti-aircraft cannon shells"? A US quarter is AN INCH ACROSS, give or take a few percent, or about 0.955 / 24mm calibre. You could harm quite a number of vital organs by making a hole of that size that penetrated only "a few centimetres"... Eye, brain, lung, probably heart, gut, limbs/joints... the megawatt one could probably cut a thin person in half from close enough range. After all, going by wikipedia at least, a typical commercial laser cutting system (in the 1-4kW range) can be "up to thirty times quicker than mechanical sawing"... OK, we have to consider the inverse square law, but that probably won't increase the power demand THAT much, considering the actual intent of these systems is to SHOOT NUKES OUT OF THE SKY.

tl;dr I want my Harry Harrison type "heater" pistol... able to shoot a neat, rectangular - and roughly quarter-sized - hole through someone's cranial spine/brainstem/neck in a half second or so, by firing into their mouth as they open it to sing. From a couple hundred yard's range...

Rex Dark:

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.

The holoporn looks more likely, given some recent 3D display tech demos (and heck, as far as I've heard, the 3D BluRay porno market is doing alright, now they've raised their theatrical makeup game to hide all the unsightly bits the hi-def closeups reveal). I'll make a prediction right now that the personal jetpack will be released for public use - legal or otherwise - at the same time as the Moller Skycar. Or in other words, about 200 years from now. In between, it will remain "always 18 months away". In other words, I wouldn't have you believe a single word until the first unit is sold, to some high profile, incredibly wealthy, daredevil celebrity, and they go on international primetime TV to show it off.

The article fails to mention what is probably an important factor in the development of this project -- the expansion of anti ballistic missile defense systems, as China is currently showing off. These laser weaponry systems would not only be able to act AS anti-missile systems but to bypass them.

tahrey:

I find the practice of "signature strikes" to be morally reprehensible, tactically wasteful, and diplomatically stupid)

How so? Particularly if you can make it as surgical as that?

Well the thing about signature strikes is that you do not know who you are hitting. Like, there are two different types of drone strikes currently in use. You have a "Personality strike" where you know the target, know exactly who it is you're shooting at, and you kill them. I can actually sort of support personality strikes, so long as they are against legitimate military targets. In a "Signature strike" you don't know who you are shooting. They just look for patterns, like individuals carrying guns (which is a lot of civilians in the middle-east too), or groups of people congregating regularly, and when they think they see a pattern, they just lob a missile at them. We don't even know who we're killing, or who the collateral damage is killing along with them. We're just tossing missiles down from the sky at unknown, unidentified people we *think* might be enemy combatants.

Then there's the "double tap". A common practice in signature drone strikes is to wait a while after the first missile hits. Let the first-responders show up to try and help the wounded or to retrieve the dead from the first impact... then lob a second missile at them. Or sometimes they will wait a day, and toss a missile into a funeral being held for the people the drone killed before, to kill their friends, family and whoever else is there too.

Not only do I feel it is a waste of resources (hellfire missiles aren't free, not to mention the man-hours the drone pilots are putting in), but it is diplomatically toxic. You've got drones, hovering around an area 24/7, randomly killing people we only *think* might be enemy combatants (which is defined by our military as any 'military-aged male within a conflict zone'. Pretty damn broad if you ask me) and then we intentionally wait to kill first-responders or shoot at their funerals. Like I said, I support drones in support of ground troops, and even personality strikes depending on the target... but we have to know *who* we're killing.

Spartan448:
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."

Hey you, Spartan guy, stop ruining everyone's good, clean, American bashing by bringing logic and likely outcomes of developing technology into the debate. All is does is make you look reasonable and this is the Internet there's no place for reason here, dammit!

tahrey:

Xpwn3ntial:

Listen, laser beams are awesome. Questions and criticisms are invalid.

This ... well, up to a point. You have to take care to watch out for the power they bring being abused. Same as heavy conventional weapons getting into the hands of inbred southern Joe Q Nutjob-Racist...

The amount of power required for inbred southern Joe Q Nutjob-Racist to actually use a laser capable of killing people is too large for a person to carry in a battery. It would take say, a pick up truck to carry the power source necessary. Really, it would be easier (and cheaper) to just load up a truck with rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Which he already has access to.

But more importantly, questions and criticisms are invalid in the discussion of laser beams.

tahrey:
snip

When projects go black so does the FUNDING. :)

tahrey:

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

So missile guidance systems from the 70s are able to keep a rocket-powered bundle of explosives accurately on target whilst hurtling towards an unfortunate, violently jinking MiG at a potential closing speed of about Mach 5, but we haven't in 2013 the ability to keep a laser beam sufficiently focussed on the same target (who may not have even yet noticed a threat, as there's no flaming tubes of death hurtling through the sky) long enough for it to have an effect?

In any case, you're thinking all wrong. If you've got a megawatt laser at your disposal, and you're taking on fighter planes, you don't aim for the plane itself at first unless you can take them down within a second or so, as it'll quickly launch countermeasures and go into a defensive aerobatic display. You aim your sky-penetrating laser sword at the pilot's face. Or at the tips of any externally mounted ordinance. Or, hell, just part of the canopy support so it pops off - the 600 to 1800mph hurricane that the pilot suddenly encounters will do the rest.

Once the plane is sufficiently out of intelligent control, you can either proceed to carving up the engines, wings and bodywork at your leisure, or just watch as it crashes by itself.

yes, and while you at it, being the "BESTEST PILOT EVAR!" why you dont just jump out of your fighter plane, fall on the enemies jet and surf on its wings while killing the 2 pilots inside the enemy aircraft with your 2 handguns akimbo style, then hop into the plane and land your and the enemy aircraft back in your base.

you dont have any idea how fucking hard it is to hit a moving target while you are yourself moving around.
image

but if you can give headshots on targets that appears to be almost the size of a ricecorn during a dogfight, then why dont you just train every fighter in existence to not suck.

also you should watch the video again and tell me how much of an instant "penetrating laser" it is.

rhizhim:

tahrey:

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

So missile guidance systems from the 70s are able to keep a rocket-powered bundle of explosives accurately on target whilst hurtling towards an unfortunate, violently jinking MiG at a potential closing speed of about Mach 5, but we haven't in 2013 the ability to keep a laser beam sufficiently focussed on the same target (who may not have even yet noticed a threat, as there's no flaming tubes of death hurtling through the sky) long enough for it to have an effect?

In any case, you're thinking all wrong. If you've got a megawatt laser at your disposal, and you're taking on fighter planes, you don't aim for the plane itself at first unless you can take them down within a second or so, as it'll quickly launch countermeasures and go into a defensive aerobatic display. You aim your sky-penetrating laser sword at the pilot's face. Or at the tips of any externally mounted ordinance. Or, hell, just part of the canopy support so it pops off - the 600 to 1800mph hurricane that the pilot suddenly encounters will do the rest.

Once the plane is sufficiently out of intelligent control, you can either proceed to carving up the engines, wings and bodywork at your leisure, or just watch as it crashes by itself.

yes, and while you at it, being the "BESTEST PILOT EVAR!" why you dont just jump out of your fighter plane, fall on the enemies jet and surf on its wings while killing the 2 pilots inside the enemy aircraft with your 2 handguns akimbo style, then hop into the plane and land your and the enemy aircraft back in your base.

you dont have any idea how fucking hard it is to hit a moving target while you are yourself moving around.

Do you know how CCIP and Computerized Gun Aimpoints on HUDs work?

rhizhim:

yes, and while you at it, being the "BESTEST PILOT EVAR!" why you dont just jump out of your fighter plane, fall on the enemies jet and surf on its wings while killing the 2 pilots inside the enemy aircraft with your 2 handguns akimbo style, then hop into the plane and land your and the enemy aircraft back in your base.

you dont have any idea how fucking hard it is to hit a moving target while you are yourself moving around.
image

but if you can give headshots on targets that appears to be almost the size of a ricecorn during a dogfight, then why dont you just train every fighter in existence to not suck.

also you should watch the video again and tell me how much of an instant "penetrating laser" it is.

The Israeli iron dome missile system is designed to hit shells and artillery rockets and in the recent conflict it hit 98% of targets engaged. How do think those missiles are guided? The problem is not an issue of guidance but energy. The system that is being talked about is designed to burn through a few mm of steel at ranges of less than 500m. The same system can accurately hit a jet but only leave scratch mark. The size and weight of a laser that could shoot down an aircraft, even with the new generation of lasers, could only be carried on a much larger aircraft. Even then, because of issue of thermal blooming they would be out ranged by the current generation of air to air missiles and unable to engage targets in clouds.

albino boo:

rhizhim:

yes, and while you at it, being the "BESTEST PILOT EVAR!" why you dont just jump out of your fighter plane, fall on the enemies jet and surf on its wings while killing the 2 pilots inside the enemy aircraft with your 2 handguns akimbo style, then hop into the plane and land your and the enemy aircraft back in your base.

you dont have any idea how fucking hard it is to hit a moving target while you are yourself moving around.
image

but if you can give headshots on targets that appears to be almost the size of a ricecorn during a dogfight, then why dont you just train every fighter in existence to not suck.

also you should watch the video again and tell me how much of an instant "penetrating laser" it is.

The Israeli iron dome missile system is designed to hit shells and artillery rockets and in the recent conflict it hit 98% of targets engaged. How do think those missiles are guided? The problem is not an issue of guidance but energy. The system that is being talked about is designed to burn through a few mm of steel at ranges of less than 500m. The same system can accurately hit a jet but only leave scratch mark. The size and weight of a laser that could shoot down an aircraft, even with the new generation of lasers, could only be carried on a much larger aircraft. Even then, because of issue of thermal blooming they would be out ranged by the current generation of air to air missiles and unable to engage targets in clouds.

It's why it's for defense as far as fighters go. For a B-1B, you could easily fit a large enough chemical LASER into it's bomb bays to be offensive in scope.

tahrey:

Never mind that flesh sears and chars a WHOLE lot MORE readily than plate steel.

At a lower temperature you mean, but if this thing instantly puts out temperatures of about 9000 degrees, the steel will probably melt before the flesh does because the flesh will resist the temperature change more than the steel, it being a conductor and all.

tahrey:
Yeah, you're going to be able to put "quarter sized potholes a few centimetres deep" into your enemies quite readily with something like this.

Only you have it trained on one spot for seconds, think Goldfinger. Another problem is that once the first or second centimeter of flesh is burnt the remaining ash would serve to slow the process.

tahrey:
Which prompts a pressing question about what's going on in your brain here: wouldn't that kind of injury, in a more traditional setting, be known as "stab wounds where the perp rotated the blade", or "bullet wounds from anti-aircraft cannon shells"? A US quarter is AN INCH ACROSS, give or take a few percent, or about 0.955 / 24mm calibre.

Yes, centimeters, as in two maybe three, so about 3 centimeters shorter than a folding pocket knife blade. Bullet wound from an anti-aircraft cannon? Not at all, not even close, a laser wouldn't have any force behind it. Also, it would instantly cauterize the wound making it even less destructive.

A laser of this size would wound somebody if they got caught in it for seconds, they might die from their injuries a day later if they got hit in the head, the danger would be infection and necrosis as it is with all burns. If the guy is over 300 pounds you probably wouldn't be able to pierce the fat in seconds.

The point is that if you did shoot a person from a B747 with a 24mm cannon round, you would obliterate them, and a laser would more likely than not just severely wound them if you hit them for two seconds. This laser would be less destructive against infantry than a conventional weapon.

ICBMs have trajectories and can't move evasively yet, an easy target for a laser.

Do4600:

tahrey:

Never mind that flesh sears and chars a WHOLE lot MORE readily than plate steel.

At a lower temperature you mean, but if this thing instantly puts out temperatures of about 9000 degrees, the steel will probably melt before the flesh does because the flesh will resist the temperature change more than the steel, it being a conductor and all.

tahrey:
Yeah, you're going to be able to put "quarter sized potholes a few centimetres deep" into your enemies quite readily with something like this.

Only you have it trained on one spot for seconds, think Goldfinger. Another problem is that once the first or second centimeter of flesh is burnt the remaining ash would serve to slow the process.

tahrey:
Which prompts a pressing question about what's going on in your brain here: wouldn't that kind of injury, in a more traditional setting, be known as "stab wounds where the perp rotated the blade", or "bullet wounds from anti-aircraft cannon shells"? A US quarter is AN INCH ACROSS, give or take a few percent, or about 0.955 / 24mm calibre.

Yes, centimeters, as in two maybe three, so about 3 centimeters shorter than a folding pocket knife blade. Bullet wound from an anti-aircraft cannon? Not at all, not even close, a laser wouldn't have any force behind it. Also, it would instantly cauterize the wound making it even less destructive.

A laser of this size would wound somebody if they got caught in it for seconds, they might die from their injuries a day later if they got hit in the head, the danger would be infection and necrosis as it is with all burns. If the guy is over 300 pounds you probably wouldn't be able to pierce the fat in seconds.

The point is that if you did shoot a person from a B747 with a 24mm cannon round, you would obliterate them, and a laser would more likely than not just severely wound them if you hit them for two seconds. This laser would be less destructive against infantry than a conventional weapon.

ICBMs have trajectories and can't move evasively yet, an easy target for a laser.

LASERs flash boil fluid in the surrounding tissue of the burnt away flesh. People hit with powerful enough LASERs will pop literally like bloody zits.

thaluikhain:

Spartan448:
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.

Not true, or at least not the way they are being developed at the moment. The YAL was more along those lines, though, but then you need to have your planes in the air in advance. The US has been mucking about with ABM systems for decades though.

Also, it's not shooting down a nuke, it's shooting down a missile, there's other delivery methods. And even if a NK or Iranian nuclear armed missile was shot down, the US would almost certainly level the country anyway. Which is why they aren't going to launch.

Spartan448:
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."

Drone strikes already are very precise, though, the problem is that you have to be very sure what you are shooting at, which is still going to be a problem. You can just as easily kill a random civilian thinking they are someone else with a laser as with a missile.

Okay, you're right - This is more about missiles than nukes in general. However, the point cannot be disregarded that the most common and reliable delivery system of a nuclear payload is an ICBM with a nuclear warhead. In those terms, a laser makes a lot of sense. The problem is creating a ground-based installation that can react quickly and be able to project an energy beam across a long enough range to reach the missile whilst still being able to neutralize the missile. Jets happen to be very good test platforms, and if all else fails, you can try to mount a laser on an SR-71 and hope that it can get to the missile quickly enough and with enough control to destroy the missile with minimal risk to the pilot. Laser-equipped fighters could also take out submarine-based platforms before they can launch, and would deter the more traditional bomber dropping a dumb nuke method.

In terms of NK and Iran launching... it really depends. NK really wants a chance to project it's power, and the government and military still have some holdouts there who believe they're still fighting the Cold War and that the Soviets are still supporting them in the ultimate goal of destroying capitalism. And in terms of Iran, I think cooler heads would prevail in terms of using the bomb against the US. Using it against Israel is the real worry, which many Iranians would not heasitate to do. Iran's current ruling party knows it means the end of Iran if they so much as point a launcher at Israel, but if they get a working bomb and their populace finds out, they may risk it just to avoid being dragged out in the streets and hung.

In terms of strikes, drone strikes are very impercise compared to a laser shot. The advantage of the drone strike is that it can take out a lot of people if it needs to. However, it you end up shooting at a civilian due to faulty information, a laser offers less risk for collateral damage, at the expense of only affecting one target at a time. Instead of shooting at target only to find out you blew up a village that was miles away from any terrorist leader, like what happens with a drone strike, you only leave one incenerated body and a bunch of angry villagers, but the entire populace as a hole could probably care less about what happens to Saif the Cattle Farmer.

You Can't Take the Sky From Me:

Spartan448:
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."

Hey you, Spartan guy, stop ruining everyone's good, clean, American bashing by bringing logic and likely outcomes of developing technology into the debate. All is does is make you look reasonable and this is the Internet there's no place for reason here, dammit!

*Takes a bow*

Sir, you are correct, this IS the Internet. And what, my good friend, is more appropriate for the internet than causing chaps such as your good self to inexplicably become irritated when someone dares to use reason? Is it not true that the point of doing this on the internet is for the most part "For teh lulz"? It is times like these, when I read reactions like yours, that I put my feet on the table, adjust my top hat and monicle, pour myself a glass of Chateau Piccard, circa 2360, and enjoy the lulz that those reactions bring me. I then chuckle to myself and ask my butler Jeeves to ready my flying 24-karat gold Ferrari so that I will not be late for my dinner meeting with all past, present, and future world leaders and discuss various things that people who do not use reason on the internet are forbidden to hear.

Spartan448:
Okay, you're right - This is more about missiles than nukes in general. However, the point cannot be disregarded that the most common and reliable delivery system of a nuclear payload is an ICBM with a nuclear warhead. In those terms, a laser makes a lot of sense. The problem is creating a ground-based installation that can react quickly and be able to project an energy beam across a long enough range to reach the missile whilst still being able to neutralize the missile. Jets happen to be very good test platforms, and if all else fails, you can try to mount a laser on an SR-71 and hope that it can get to the missile quickly enough and with enough control to destroy the missile with minimal risk to the pilot. Laser-equipped fighters could also take out submarine-based platforms before they can launch, and would deter the more traditional bomber dropping a dumb nuke method.

Launching a plane and getting it to intercept the incoming missile in time is going to be harder than launching a missile, though.

Also, how does a fighter with a laser destroy a submarine? The weapon won't penetrate the water, and if you can find the submarine you can torpedo it, you don't need a laser.

I'm not saying that lasers couldn't be used for missile defence, only that existing missile defence would work better. OTOH, I could see this working as a point defence system like the Phalanx, to defend against anti-ship missiles, rockets and mortars shells.

Spartan448:
In terms of strikes, drone strikes are very impercise compared to a laser shot. The advantage of the drone strike is that it can take out a lot of people if it needs to. However, it you end up shooting at a civilian due to faulty information, a laser offers less risk for collateral damage, at the expense of only affecting one target at a time. Instead of shooting at target only to find out you blew up a village that was miles away from any terrorist leader, like what happens with a drone strike, you only leave one incenerated body and a bunch of angry villagers, but the entire populace as a hole could probably care less about what happens to Saif the Cattle Farmer.

Fair enough, though I would say that if collateral damage was a real concern, it could be avoided if necessary. I suppose lasers would make this more convenient, though.

...Yes. Fucking yes.

Now it's only a matter of time before science finds a way to make me immortal. And video games become so realistic it's as if you actually are in the game. MMOs will be so badass when that finally happens.

We are in the future, it took a bit longer than those from the 40s and 50s thought. But we're finally starting.

Spartan448:

Laser-equipped fighters could also take out submarine-based platforms before they can launch, and would deter the more traditional bomber dropping a dumb nuke method.

In terms of NK and Iran launching... it really depends. NK really wants a chance to project it's power, and the government and military still have some holdouts there who believe they're still fighting the Cold War and that the Soviets are still supporting them in the ultimate goal of destroying capitalism. And in terms of Iran, I think cooler heads would prevail in terms of using the bomb against the US. Using it against Israel is the real worry, which many Iranians would not heasitate to do. Iran's current ruling party knows it means the end of Iran if they so much as point a launcher at Israel, but if they get a working bomb and their populace finds out, they may risk it just to avoid being dragged out in the streets and hung.

In terms of strikes, drone strikes are very impercise compared to a laser shot. The advantage of the drone strike is that it can take out a lot of people if it needs to. However, it you end up shooting at a civilian due to faulty information, a laser offers less risk for collateral damage, at the expense of only affecting one target at a time. Instead of shooting at target only to find out you blew up a village that was miles away from any terrorist leader, like what happens with a drone strike, you only leave one incenerated body and a bunch of angry villagers, but the entire populace as a hole could probably care less about what happens to Saif the Cattle Farmer.

A few issues with the issue of lasers as ICBM defense.
1) If you're faced with a full launch of missiles, you'll have a huge amount of targets to detect, track, and destroy:
Lets consider what would happen if China launched its full arsenal. ( Ignoring the fact that the Chinese are lead by logical people and would never sign their own death warrant in that way ).
The Chinese have "only" 200-300 warheads. These would be mounted in the 90 ICBMs that they possess. Therefore you have to track and destroy 90 targets in the launch phase. Once the warheads separate from the missile body you will have to track the warheads and all the decoys, and try to distinguish between the two. You now have about 500-700 targets to track and kill. This is the phase of flight that your lasers will have to operate on. Engaging 500-700 hypersonic targets, spread across the United States' airspace in the minute or so available will be an impossible challenge.

Remember what happens if only one gets through.

Of course that's only Chinas small arsenal. Defending against Russia's 2700 warheads would be completely, utterly impossible.

2) Killing a warhead isn't that easy:
Warheads are designed to re-enter the atmosphere from sub-orbital space and at hypersonic speeds. This means that they are heat-shielded that same as a space capsule, and a point heat of, say 2500 degress celcius, will do nothing. Also the warheads will be spinning to stabilise them. This means that the laser now paints a far larger area of the warhead, and so heats the warhead up by less.
The coating of the warhead can also be adjusted. A mirrored coating ( Or any coating as far away from a pure "black body" as possible) will greatly reduce the head transferred by the laser.

3) Issues with the laser system.
These are mainly engineering ones, such as effective tracking and energy storage. Throwing a lot of money will help. A bigger one is scattering and thermal blooming causing the laser's effectiveness to drop markedly, especially over range. What happens for example if there is heavy cloud or rain on the day that the missiles come?

An SR 71 will be significantly lacking in payload capacity and could never carry a laser with enough power for missile defence, even if they hadn't been retired in 1998.

With regards to destroying a submarine system before launch. No. Just no. No laser will penetrate the 50 odd metres of water they can launch beneath.

I think a bomber, even a B2 or a TU 160 wouldn't need a laser as deterrence. A Patriot or S400 missile does that just fine...

Neither Iran nor NK would be stupid enough to launch a nuke against anyone. As soon as they launch there would be a massive US nuclear retaliation and they know it. The nuclear programmes are merely saber rattling in order to shore up their own regime, or to use as a bargaining chip in diplomatic discussions.
Also don't forget that Israel is a nuclear state.

The use of lasers as point defence for fighters is interesting but I can see many challenges. If anyone is interested I could list some.

TornadoADV:

LASERs flash boil fluid in the surrounding tissue of the burnt away flesh. People hit with powerful enough LASERs will pop literally like bloody zits.

That's just silly, the heat from a laser is localized and not nearly powerful enough to cause that. People are hit by average lightning bolts that are 2,500 times more powerful than that laser and escape with a few third degree burns, and lightning heats the surrounding air to 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The LIPC would cause more damage than these lasers.

Accidental double post, please delete/disregard.

FelixG:

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.

When you start to generalize an entire continent you know you have reached a new level of ignorance and stupidity.

Vareoth:

FelixG:

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.

When you start to generalize an entire continent you know you have reached a new level of ignorance and stupidity.

Just like said folks do when they go 'MURICA you mean?

FelixG:

Vareoth:

FelixG:

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.

When you start to generalize an entire continent you know you have reached a new level of ignorance and stupidity.

Just like said folks do when they go 'MURICA you mean?

Exactly like that. Why would you lower yourself to such a level?

Vareoth:

FelixG:

Vareoth:

When you start to generalize an entire continent you know you have reached a new level of ignorance and stupidity.

Just like said folks do when they go 'MURICA you mean?

Exactly like that. Why would you lower yourself to such a level?

Because its fun of course! Plus I have to lower myself to their level from time to time so that when I do argue with such I am not beaten by their vast experience.

FelixG:

Vareoth:

FelixG:

Just like said folks do when they go 'MURICA you mean?

Exactly like that. Why would you lower yourself to such a level?

Because its fun of course! Plus I have to lower myself to their level from time to time so that when I do argue with such I am not beaten by their vast experience.

So it's a classic example of know thy enemy? That's some ancient wisdom right there. However, take care to not drown in the dense oceans of stupidity that flow trough the interwebz.

Do4600:

TornadoADV:

LASERs flash boil fluid in the surrounding tissue of the burnt away flesh. People hit with powerful enough LASERs will pop literally like bloody zits.

That's just silly, the heat from a laser is localized and not nearly powerful enough to cause that. People are hit by average lightning bolts that are 2,500 times more powerful than that laser and escape with a few third degree burns, and lightning heats the surrounding air to 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The LIPC would cause more damage than these lasers.

LASERs are sustained, directed light. Lightning is instantaneous, random electricity. What makes the human body resistant against sudden heat changes (heat sink in terms of water mass in the body), becomes a liability in sustained heat changes. A LASER will literally boil a person alive inside their own skin before bursting.

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