AerospaceFan
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U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Mon May 22, 2006 11:50 pm

Forget all you've read about bulky chemical lasers -- the kind you need to shoot down missiles from a hundred miles away. Solid-state lasers, comparable to the kind of weapons you see on Star Trek: Enterprise^1, may be the wave of the future.

One of the largest defense contractors in the world has been tasked with the objective of building lasers so small and powerful, they can be deployed in armored vehicles to destroy enemy missiles and projectiles at the speed of light.

So far, the signs are promising.

See:

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.mhtml?d=91947

(Excerpt)

Quote:
"We're anxious to move forward with scaling up to the 100 kW power level in Phase 3 of the program," noted Alexis Livanos, president of Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "With parallel funding for attendant laser weapon system technologies and demonstrations, systems using very high-power lasers could be deployed in as little as four to five years."

____________________________________
1. Information from Popular Science, May, 2006 edition:


http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviatio...010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd/2.html

[Edited 2006-05-22 16:59:44]
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oly720man
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Mon May 22, 2006 11:59 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
So far, the signs are promising.

Depending on which side of the laser you are standing on.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Tue May 23, 2006 12:00 am

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 1):
Depending on which side of the laser you are standing on.

True, and, in principle, that's been the case ever since they invented the slingshot.

[Edited 2006-05-22 17:02:31]
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Banco
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Tue May 23, 2006 12:03 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
has been tasked with the objective of

And having been given all those lovely dollars, the chances of them saying "Nah, it'll never work" are....?
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AerospaceFan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Tue May 23, 2006 12:12 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 3):
And having been given all those lovely dollars, the chances of them saying "Nah, it'll never work" are....?

I don't know. They've scaled it up considerably in the last several years. The loser in the project achieved powers up to 45 kilowatts, if you read the Popular Science article.

If you consider that two or three years ago, a U.S.-Israeli battlefield prototype was tested that shot down a projectile, well....

This could be the real thing, folks.

[Edited 2006-05-22 17:13:36]
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AerospaceFan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Tue May 23, 2006 3:25 am

One more thing: If they develop smaller and smaller laser weapons, pretty soon they'll be so small that private citizens will want to keep them.

Query: Would the Second Amendment protect the private possession of lethal laser weapons?
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Tue May 23, 2006 4:01 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 5):
Query: Would the Second Amendment protect the private possession of lethal laser weapons?

Why? Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it specifically say firearms...it just says ARMS. I think laser weaponry would qualify - eventually. Of course one could also argue that you could apply this same argument to nuclear weapons as well, and the government has done a good job of keeping that technology beyond the reach and/or means of civilians for sixty years.

Odds are that weaponized lasers would be out of civilian hands for a long time too, particularly via high prices from manufacturers.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Wed May 24, 2006 6:40 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 6):
Why? Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it specifically say firearms...it just says ARMS. I think laser weaponry would qualify - eventually

But there are already laws against ownership of machine guns, for example.
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Gilligan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Wed May 24, 2006 6:43 am

The discovery channel did a show on this recently. They are not far away from perfecting the lasar and then engineering it down to a field level size. They already have working models that fit on humvees.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Wed May 24, 2006 6:50 am

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 8):
The discovery channel did a show on this recently. They are not far away from perfecting the lasar and then engineering it down to a field level size. They already have working models that fit on humvees.

One of the attractive things about solid-state lasers is that there's no need for ammunition, as long as you have power.

Further, I'm sure that it must be recoilless.

And one of the most obvious advantages would be that the "ammunition" travels at the speed of light.
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Gilligan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Wed May 24, 2006 7:18 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):
One of the attractive things about solid-state lasers is that there's no need for ammunition, as long as you have power.

My question would be will it pass through a human being cauterizing as it goes? If so only a hit to the heart or head would seem to me to be instantly fatal. Could you put polished metal armor on, like from the middle ages, and deflect the beams?
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AerospaceFan
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RE: U.S. May Field Battlefield Laser Weapons By 2010

Wed May 24, 2006 7:23 am

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 10):
My question would be will it pass through a human being cauterizing as it goes? If so only a hit to the heart or head would seem to me to be instantly fatal. Could you put polished metal armor on, like from the middle ages, and deflect the beams?

Cauterization would not necessarily result in complete staunching of blood loss, but that's just speculation on my part.

Regarding metallic mirrors, I believe that testing using reflective metals either will or has been done and, given what has been said, it appears unlikely that a deployable weapon that can explode mortars in flight will be ineffective against mirrored surfaces.
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