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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Well, military laser guns have arrived

check this out.

Airborne Laser Testbed Media Gallery

Interesting tech, hits the bogey with one low energy laser to rangefind it, then a second one to pick up temperature and climatic conditions between it and the target. Then hits it with the high energy laser, just over a megawatt of power from what they're saying, heats the bogey's superstructure beyond failing point, ideally right as it's passing thru the range of max dynamic pressure at around 35-45000' asl on a normal launch. It can be lower depending on the missile class. Anyhow, once the aerodynamic superstructure fails the missile begins to tumble, which should burst the fuel storage if it's still boosting.

Interesting little defense mechanism but I'm not sure how tactically use full it is, in order to hit the thing while it's still under boost you need to hit it within the first ~30km, and at that low an altitude that means being within ~600km of the launch site, which when you're talking about an ICBM is pretty much knife fighting range. It's much more feasible firing from a satellite where it's got a much longer line of sight to target. But then you're talking a massive network of satellites and the maintenance to keep the puppies charged for this, mega mega dollars.

Still tho, practical or no it's interesting and a first step, the French Foreign legion were playing with a rifle sized one, hella heavy and not much energy storage tho, but it's coming. The days of firing bullets at each other are starting to be numbered I think.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 04:17 AM
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Initially the idea of lazer rifles as far as I am aware, was to be used in blinding the enemy, but the Geneva Convention boys starting chucking tamtrums about the concept.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 05:45 AM
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Satellite based ones could pose a problem, if they miss, they cook something on the ground.

It's probably not too difficult to modify ICBM's to reduce their chance of failing too, use a mirror finish on them. That will reflect away a good chunk, though not all, of the energy of the laser.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 07:47 AM
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File Type: jpg Laser_Shark_by_McGibs.jpg (140.7 KB, 0 views)


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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ya I'm with ya Greenenvy, in a satellite based one they're frying something on the ground with any scatter and after it cooks thru. And ya it wouldn't be that hard to modify them. The thing that really bugs me tho is that ICBM's are only really vulnerable for the first couple minutes of flight, once they're exoatmospheric you can smash it into a million pieces if you want, it's already ballistic and it's still gonna land exactly where it was supposed to land, you MIGHT smash the warhead up but even that is highly unlikely. If you're gonna splash it you gotta do it EARLY, which means having birds on standby over enemy airspace waiting for the ICBM's to launch. Which isn't strategically realistic I don't think.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 12:05 PM
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Why do you guys think the US wants a missile defence system in and around Europe and the Eastern Block.

I'm just waiting to see if the brand new Iranian nuke building freshmen team cock up and instant sunshine a part of Iran.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 12:08 PM
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I meant to say Junior. I wonder how much it would cost per barrel to try and scrub nuclear radiation from crude? Hmmm...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 12:45 PM
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Anyone ever see Spies Like Us?


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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not that hard to scrub rad from crude but it'd be cheaper to extract tar sands oil, of which there's no shortage. All these people talking about how we're running out of fuel conveniently forget the tar sands. There's a LOT of oil there, about as much as all other sources combined. It's just fucking expensive to get it out, but at crude prices over $100/barrel it's feasible. The upshot of that tho is that it's not much more work to go to a full synthetic product at the end rather than just extracting and refining.

And yea, we'll see if the Iranians manage to second sun themselves inadvertantly. Manhattan damned near did, twice.

Altho really, criticality accidents do happen, there's lots of official and unofficial stories in the nuke industry about it happening. Anything from the one like Manhattan where a centrifuge lets go, to just a guy carting a tub of heavy water around near the fuel storage area and she lights up.

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