Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Factory Testing of Airborne Laser Cannon Completed

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the who's-got-the-popcorn? dept.

United States 568

Acid-F1ux writes "Lockheed Martin has completed factory testing of the optical benches for the Airborne Laser's Beam Control/Fire Control (BC/FC) system. The Airborne Laser (ABL) is the first megawatt-class laser weapon system to be carried on a specially configured 747-400F aircraft, designed to autonomously detect, track and destroy hostile ballistic missiles."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I hate all of you (1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948561)

Fuck you all. I hate you.

Love Always,
News For Turds

Re:I hate all of you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948567)

cock holster

Question. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948643)

Why do we all worship Jesus? I mean, he was obviously a commie liberal. "Turn the other cheek" indeed!

Answer (1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948733)

cuz u r teh ghey

you hit the wrong slashhole (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948773)

I am not pregnant
Love,
Taco

I wonder (1, Offtopic)

odano (735445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948571)

I wonder what color the laser is...

I hear the green ones burn out your eyes.

Re:I wonder (4, Funny)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948585)

I think this one will burn your eyes out regardless of color.

Re:I wonder (2, Funny)

garignak (611737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948759)

I think this one will burn your eyes out regardless of color.

You're eyes would be the least of you're worries if you look directly into this beam.

Now all we need is (4, Funny)

xeeno (313431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948593)

a bunch of popcorn and an evil professor's house.

Re:I wonder (5, Informative)

eutychus_awakes (607787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948663)

The laser is invisible - off in the infrared somewhere. You could only probably see the beam at night as it ionizes the trace amounts of noble gases in the atmosphere. Then again, a bird or a swarm of beetles flying through the beam would be pretty spectacular. . .

Don't look at laser with remaining eye.

I wonder where its positioned (2, Interesting)

TerminalInsanity (720167) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948724)

Cos if its on the bottom of the plane, its going to have to be generaly above the missile, and then if it misses, i wonder what that beam is going to hit?

Re:I wonder (5, Informative)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948822)

I wonder what color the laser is...

I hear the green ones burn out your eye


Actually the laser beam will be invisible (unlike the the one in the movie Real Genius [zenspider.com] ), as it is in the infrared range of light. This particular frequency of light also lends itself to good transmission through the atmosphere. More info here [af.mil]

Another interesting thing about the laser is that it's a chemical laser that genrates energy through the reaction of oxygen and iodine.

Which means that the plane will have a limited number of shots (I believe three or four) before it has to go and refuel.

The power of this laser would not heat up and pop the popcorn like in the movie, but would vaporize a nice hole right to the ground.

I hear the green ones burn out your eye

Looking into a laser or letting laser light into your eyes is a very bad idea, no matter how low the power may seem. Even for the pen lasers that are everywhere. You do not know what the consequences may be, and harm to your eyesight is not worth it.

lasers are cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948572)

my cats like to chase the dot from a laser pointer

So what is your idea? (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948608)

"my cats like to chase the dot from a laser pointer"

So what is your idea? To point it at some spot in South Dakota for a couple of months in order to gather all of the cats in the country into one spot?

And then what? Attached buttered toast to the backs of the cats, drop them, and solve the energy problems of the world with the resulting perpetual motion machine [flippyscatpage.com] ?

747-400F (3, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948576)

The 747-400F [baworldcargo.com] could be Airforce One (if it's not already), so it would be understandable if these lasers were mounted to it for tracking incoming sidewinders or surface to air missiles. Not sure if it's fast enough for that, or could be. While the BC/FC may be designed to take out larger missiles, this weapon system might make a really smart pro-active chaff system, to secure the President from harm during flight. I think it's a little strange the BC/FC is being mounted on such a large aircraft, with slow scramble speed and low maneuverability, unless the US is planning to have many planes airborne, around the clock, which does seem somewhat wasteful. Nothing is said about the range of this laser, so I'm not sure if it would work from space or not.

Re:747-400F (4, Funny)

shoppa (464619) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948614)

Oh, come on. I saw the documentary starring Harrison Ford and I'm 100% sure that the Prez would bail out in his escape capsule first.

Size you muppet. (3, Informative)

littleghoti (637230) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948621)

The laser is on a plane this size because a laser powerful enough to destroy missiles from miles away is a big fat bulky ass piece of equipment, that won't fit on a fighter plane.

Re:747-400F (4, Informative)

BoyPlankton (93817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948640)

It's a chemical laser. The fuel for the laser takes up a big chunk of that space.

Re:747-400F (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948641)

RTFA, Ballistic missiles = ICBMs. Not Air to Air. It's the Star Wars defense shield, installed in a sane platform (where the laser can be refueled after use).

Re:747-400F (1)

kelseyj (398409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948656)

The laser and its support systems take almost the entire "usable" space of the aircraft. No room for the president!

Insert clever sig here

Re:747-400F (1)

deuce868 (673251) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948659)

Well I would assume a larger aircaft offers a more stable platform for the laser. I admit I am not pilot, but for all those calculations I think the larger aircraft would offer more crew space for long flights (these things would have to be up 24/7 wouldn't they?) and help keep the laser on target and not get buffeted as much by turbulance.

Re:747-400F (1)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948805)

Like one of these [google.com] - The Sentry platform is well known to be able to stay in 24/7 (rotation) service for years at a time. Most of the electronics on the sentry have long since been miniaturized, and the power plant required to run the radar boom could easily be fitted to power the laser (possibly at the cost of blinking the rader during a fire sequence).

Re:747-400F (1, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948685)

Well, since it says it's for destroying ballistic missiles, I kind of doubt it's supposed to be defeating anti-aircraft weapons.

As for how wasteful it would be to deploy it, all you have to do is consider how wasteful the entire missile defense program is in general, and it makes perfect sense. Building this part of the program will funnel money not only to Lockheed Martin, but to the producers of jet fuel.

In any case, it's unlikely anyone with a significant number of ballistic missiles is going to attack the US, and if Russia or China did launch a massive attack, none of the anti-missile technologies we're spending so much money on would be effective enough to make any difference. The military is just continuing a long tradition of planning to fight the last war, in this case the Cold War.

On the other hand, they're determined to spend lots of money, and throwing a trillion dollars at trying to find a way to prevent a wave of suicide bombings before they start probably won't have very good results either. Plus the technology they created for that would have us all reaching for the tinfoil hats.

Re:747-400F (5, Insightful)

ivrcti (535150) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948748)

---"The military is just continuing a long tradition of planning to fight the last war, in this case the Cold War."-----

Uhmm... NO. In this case, they are working towards the next war, the rogue nation with a highly limited number of fairly crude ballistic missiles. Our experience during the cold war proved that while the consequences of major nuclear war are very high, the probability is rather low. The exact opposite is true of the rogue nation/terrorist group scenario.

Re:747-400F (5, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948706)

I think it's a little strange the BC/FC is being mounted on such a large aircraft, with slow scramble speed and low maneuverability, unless the US is planning to have many planes airborne, around the clock, which does seem somewhat wasteful.
IIRC, the power plant, optics and electronics for this system are all fairly bulky. This isn't something that you could easily fit into a fighter plane or something slightly larger. I'm not sure how much room (if any) would be left over in a 747 with one of these babies fitted, so it might not even be feasible to put one on Air Force One.

I imagine they would combine the laser with surveillance and detection functions such as AWACS or Joint STARS. In those cases it would not be such a strange idea to have one on CAP (Continuous Air Presence) over certain theatres of operation. But to defend all of the US with these would be a bit impractical.

Which leads to the question: what other stuff could they zap with this? Ground-based launchers? Enemy fighter aircraft? SAMs? Or is this thing only good against ballistic weapons?

Re:747-400F (1)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948753)

747 Chassis with destructive laser. My guess as to application:
  • Balistic [nationalde...gazine.org] Missile [vectorsite.net] Defense: (Second link - look above in section 2.6 as well)
  • And mount it in one of these [google.com]

Re:747-400F (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948771)

. . .unless the US is planning to have many planes airborne, around the clock, which does seem somewhat wasteful.

And something we have habitually done. Look into the Strategic Air Command, or just watch Dr. Strangelove.

KFG

Re:747-400F (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948782)

Airforce One already has a number of systems to defend it against air-to-air and surface-to-air missles. While they don't talk about exactly what they carry, I think we can safely assume that they have the best available anti-missle systems available for (or adaptable to) the aircraft.

The ABL in mounted in a 747 because it's big enough to take up most of the available space in one.

Re:747-400F (5, Informative)

joehoya (541611) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948808)

The ABL system is to be a key part of what is known as Boost Phase missile defense. The idea is that you fly the 747 based ABL system in circles over friendly territoy monitoring a neary balistic missile threat (imagine flying over Japan and watching North Korea). When an enemy ballistic missile is launched, the ABL uses its laser to blow-up the missile while it is climing through the atmosphere (having the advantages of being full of fuel, rising slowly and over enemy territory). See FAS for details. [fas.org]

Re:747-400F (1)

b4rtm4n (692708) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948820)

Laser based point defenses ... cooool!

C & C generals Zero Hour is coming to life.

Hmmmm - coincidence? I think not... (5, Funny)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948580)

Lockheed Martin has completed factory testing of the optical benches for the Airborne Laser's Beam Control/Fire Control (BC/FC) system.

and in other news..

Reuters reports that the gyroscope that keeps the international space station stable and in the right position stopped working, just hours after a new two-man crew moved in for a half-year stay.

Someone in Lockheed Martin's Black Ops department is rubbing their hands together gleefully right now!

Re:Hmmmm - coincidence? I think not... (2, Funny)

Stingr (701739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948627)

Hmmm...wasn't yesterday take your child to work day???

Child:"What's this button do Daddy??"

Dad:"NOOOO!!!!!"

Child: Oooh pretty lights!!!

Spacestation: Houston, we have a problem.

Re:Hmmmm - coincidence? I think not... (5, Funny)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948630)

Lemme guess...
"Well it's finished...now what."
"Well, we need a target to test it on, something small and hard to hit."
"Hey - bet you couldn't hit the ISS from here..."

that's FUNNY...but (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948739)

..but what happened to the space shuttle isn't. Remember when some photographer got a shot or two of the shuttle as it was breaking up over california heading east, and his camera caught this long purple flash that allegedly looked like it was hitting the shuttle? From what I remember, they flew the camera back to texas, they hemmed and hawed about it, the actual photos were never released to the public (AFAIK) then the story evaporated. I WONDER what that was, because the way they described it it wasn't just ablation or burning stuff on the shuttle, but something else, like a "beam" of some sort.

hmmm, just one of hundreds of lost stories

Re:that's FUNNY...but (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948787)

Put down that crack pipe and join reality...

Kent... this is Jesus (4, Funny)

tdemark (512406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948583)

first megawatt-class laser weapon system to be carried on a specially configured 747-400F aircraft

Hmmm... I thought they were going to use a five megawatt system on a B-1B [imdb.com] .

Re:Kent... this is Jesus (1)

Falken1974 (773308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948612)

yes, val kilmer and a creepy guy filling out frito contest entries, were unavailable for comment

It's about time (-1, Troll)

53cur!ty (588713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948587)

Does the Military really believe that we believe that they are JUST developing this technology?!

Come on space has already been militerized and lasers have been around for a while. Remember the U-2 spy plane, we found out about that almost 50 years after it was put into service!

star wars here we come! [technicalknow-how.com]

Re:It's about time (1, Funny)

s20451 (410424) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948666)

Remember the U-2 spy plane, we found out about that almost 50 years after it was put into service!

Dude, the U-2 had its first flight in 1955. So according to you, we first find out about it a year from now.

I think you can expect a knock on the door from some nice gentlemen from an obscure government agency ...

U2 invented in 1905 (5, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948762)

Remember the U-2 spy plane, we found out about that almost 50 years after it was put into service!...Dude, the U-2 had its first flight in 1955. So according to you, we first find out about it a year from now.

I think what he meant to say was that the U2 was put into place in 1905, which is 50 years before we found out about in 1955. Of course, the 1905 model of the U2 spyplane was made of bamboo and oilcloth and flew a mere 9 metres above the landscape of the Russian Empire it was spying on. Stealth was achieved by a man with a megaphone yelling out "Don't look at me!" in Russian.

Re:It's about time (3, Informative)

coyote_oww (749758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948681)

Huh? The U-2 dates to the 50's. The USSR shot one down in the 60's. It wasn't all that secret for all that long.

Perhaps you are confusing this with "Aurora", which doesn't exist (yet)(maybe).

FYI, the basic U-2 airframe is still in use, now designated the TR-1. The airplane part isn't particuarly secret, it's the payload (cameras, radar, ECM, etc) that is secret.

Re:It's about time (2, Interesting)

Goon Number 1 (168487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948690)

The U2 [142.26.194.131] wasn't around for 50 years when it was discovered [archives.gov] . YOu may be thinking of the SR-71, which was around for maybe 25 years before they started talking about it in public.

Not that impressive really .... (3, Funny)

Alranor (472986) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948588)

Call me when they manage to strap the fricking thing to a shark :)

Re: Not that impressive really .... (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948650)


> Call me when they manage to strap the fricking thing to a shark :)

You could strap a shark to the bottom of the airplane...

Super sized.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948718)

that's one frickin' huge ass shark you're postulating.

Early problems (3, Funny)

Sanity (1431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948589)

Apparently an early test went horribly wrong when the laser misfired, hitting the home of the project's director (who also runs a school for gifted teenagers), and cooking a large amount of popcorn, which eventually expanded to destroy the house.

Re:Early problems (1)

MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948634)

What is that?
Popcorn.
Get rid of it. I hate popcorn.
Oh. Now I know what to get you for your birthday.

-- Real Genius, best movie ever?

LAZLO!

Re:I was thinking of the immortal words... (0, Offtopic)

robvs68 (560549) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948796)

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates when he said, "I drank what?"

Real Genius (2, Funny)

Apiakun (589521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948590)

And it's only been 19 years since Real Genius gave 'em the idea!

Real Genius? (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948625)

Won't that do nothing but make popcorn and anger the Dickless guy from "Ghostbusters"?

War of the Worlds called.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948744)

they want their intellectual property back.

Now Deal of the Century and UCAV's well that's different.

Better The the Patriots Detection? (-1, Flamebait)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948591)

I hope it's better then the Patriot missile system's detection abilities. If i remember correctly it had a habbit of attacking british aircraft.

Re:Better The the Patriots Detection? (1, Funny)

nharmon (97591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948710)

That is not a bug, its a feature. Just in case we have to fight the british again.

Re:Better The the Patriots Detection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948757)

British guy getting shot at by the damn thing not so funny. Pilot the next day who noticed the stupid system had locked on to him and adopted the 'get it before it gets me' strategy - damn hilarious!

Problem? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948779)

A-10's sometimes attack british APC's too. This time I think we know who's going to be showing whom where they can stick that feather. It's all fun and games until it's your macaroni....

Hmmm.... (3, Funny)

danielsedlacek (765501) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948594)

I wonder if Lockheed did a little industrial espionage and miniturized the Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

Re:Hmmm.... (2, Funny)

jim_b (179273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948715)

Where's the kaboom, theres supposed to be an earth shattering kaboom

can I have one please (0, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948595)

I'd like one to get rid of some vermin around my house.

Just aim for.. (1)

TheVampire (686474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948604)

the red star on the side of the ICBM.

Autonomous? (3, Interesting)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948606)

I'd be interested by their definition of autonomous - are we talking this thing cruising around looking for a target, or are we talking an operator flagging a missile spotted by something else and the machine taking over from there.
Either way, brace yourselves for a thousand Terminator/Robotic master references.

Obligatory quote... (1, Funny)

tmhsiao (47750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948609)

And for God's sake, stop playing with yourself.

Oh good (1, Funny)

SnappingTurtle (688331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948622)

I bet the neighbors are happy all those unsuccesful tests seem to be overwith.

All (0)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948629)

your base belong to ***ZaaaapPP***

Ballistic? (0, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948635)

How many anti-aircraft missiles are ballistic as opposed to guided?

TWW

Re:Ballistic? (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948664)

Eh? I think it's supposed to stop nukes that are aimed at the US. If you RTFA it talks about hitting the missiles in their boost phase, ie before their warheads separate.

Yes, ballistic. (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948675)

The laser isn't for aircraft defense - it's for shooting down ICBMs.

Is this really necessary? (-1)

Stopmotioncleaverman (628352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948636)

It does make you wonder...

The Airborne Laser (ABL) is the first megawatt-class laser weapon system to be carried on a specially configured 747

How many 747s have had ballistic missiled fired at them? How many have been shot down by targeted missiles? Does that really pose a significant threat to our international travel?

I can't help but think that Lockheed-Martin, not being the most pacifistic company in the world, may have some ulterior motive for designing this - it can be mounted on a 747, sure, but isn't this far more likely to be implemented on military aircraft, where it will surely have far more worthwhile uses? And if that is the case, why not state its true purpose?

Call me paranoid, but I always tend to assume the worst.

Re:Is this really necessary? (1)

drachenfyre (550754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948679)

It is going to be mounted on military aircraft. The idea (relating to gulf war I terms that we can all recall) is to put one of these over saudi arabia and have it shoot down the scuds coming out of iraq 300 miles away. It would rely primarily on burning a hole through the propellant casing of the missile causing an explosion. You then rely on things like the patriots to hit anything that gets through.

As a patriotic American (1, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948699)

"then rely on things like the patriots to hit anything that gets through."

As a patriotic American, I for one look forward to my duties punching missile remnants in the Arabian desert.

Re:Is this really necessary? (1)

Seby123456 (678791) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948691)

I think I can remember reading something about the use of the laser initially would not be to protect the 747 carrying it, but to protect other aircraft in the area. Sort of like how one AWAC covers a battlefield, one 747 could cover a battlefield destroying all enemy missiles.

Of course, with the increase in terrorist threats (and I'm from the UK where we keep having scares about missiles being fired at passenger planes flying out of London) there seems to be an increasingly valid non-military use.

Re:Is this really necessary? (1)

steve.m (80410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948726)

If you bothered to do some research, you'd have found out it's a US Air Force project to provide boost phase intercept missile defense. Take a look here [airbornelaser.com] .

Re:Is this really necessary? (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948738)

It's hard to tell if you're joking. If you RTFA, you'll see that this is aimed at ICBMs - the article talks about shooting them down before their warheads separate etc.

Re:Is this really necessary? (2, Informative)

Oggust (526634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948813)

How many 747s have had ballistic missiled fired at them? How many have been shot down by targeted missiles? Does that really pose a significant threat to our international travel?

That's not the point. The idea is to cruise for a long time over the battlefield, and zab ballistic missiles during the boost phase, should any take off. Think of the first gulf war (not the iran-iraq one, the one with iraq vs the rest of the world), when a big concern was mobile launchers launching scuds out of nowhere.

The missiles are easier to hit in the boost phase, since they're not moving that fast yet, and there's a big and hot rocket plume behind them. They are also easier to destroy, since they're still full of rocket fuel. Also if they have nasty NBC stuff in them, it lands back where the things was fired from (more or less) as opposed to where they was aimed (more or less).

/August

Quote (1)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948639)

"FIRE THE LAAZER"
Dr Evil must be up to something.

It is REALLY just for communications (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948649)

The laser is really just for communications. Or at least that is what we are saying for the benefit of the invading Kzinti fleet.

More Info? (2, Insightful)

theNote (319197) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948653)

I don't see it mentioned in the article, but the last time I read about something like this, it required a truck full of dangerous checmicals for every shot.

Does anyone know whther this is the same thing?
It seems kind of useless if you need that much raw material, you'd only get one shot per plane.

Re:More Info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948799)

What were the chemicals for?

I seen this in Popular Science (4, Interesting)

nharmon (97591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948658)

Some time ago, Popular Science did a story on this aircraft. The laser beam originates at the tail end of the 747, and is deflected up and over the nose to allow the mirror in the nose to aim the laser in wide arcs.

So, will this technology make the fighter jet obsolete? I mean, you can't very well out-maneuver a laser. Which means that bombers will have laser weapons on the front, back, top, bottom and sides. Kind of like back in WWII when bombers had machine guns all over the place.

This certainly changes everything.

Re:I seen this in Popular Science (1)

kelseyj (398409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948695)

You can only shoot down a fighter if you know it's there and you can target it. Think stealth.

Insert clever sig here

Probably useless (1)

javatips (66293) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948662)

The article lack some technical specifications... Like what is the usable range of the laser, can it fire through clouds. How long can the plan stay in flight.

I suspect that the range must be short (few hundred milles at most).So it may be used only for targeting stuff in small countries (as flying a 747 over an hostile country is a recipe for disaster).

You also need to have a 747 fly for 24hrs a day (this can be managed with several plane but it will surely cost a bundle) Now how many planes will you need to cover all the potential enemy launch sites?

Then anyway, if a country plan to launch some balistic missiles, it can just send a couple jetfighter to down the 747. That is probably a fairly easy task.

Subsequent press release (3, Funny)

lewko (195646) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948665)

Shortly after the news conference, Lockheed then announced its plan to create a moon base, from where it will fire the "laser" on Earth's major cities. The "laser," was created by Dr. Parsons and shall be known as "The Alan Parsons Project." according to confidential reports.

Lockheed's shares closed at one hundred million dollars...

Waste of time and money (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948670)

I don't want to start a flamewar but this is a weapon that was needed when the Soviet Union threatened America, not now.

How much chance is there that terrorists will get their hands on an ICBM and the capability to launch it with any chance of success? How many rogue states will take a pot shot at the most dominant power on earth with a whole host of up to date nuclear armaments and illegal biological weapons research? The threat now will not be affected by this white elephant one iota.

Last decades weapons today! How much better could the money have been spent?

This is typical American stategic thinking - stuck in the past.

The Soviet Union never threatened America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948732)

"I don't want to start a flamewar but this is a weapon that was needed when the Soviet Union threatened America, not now."

The Soviets never threatened the Americans. You bought into it, hook line and sinker: the cold-war myths created by the Zionists and their minions in the corporate media.

Re:Waste of time and money (1, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948807)

True, true. We have more to fear from Kim Jong Il giving Al Qaeda a nuke and having it shipped/flown/dragged into the US than some tiny country launching a missile at us.

We can combat this two ways: kill everyone who doesn't like America, or make America the good guy again by improving the lives of people. And not killing them in the process.

Do they have "friendly missile detectors"? (1, Insightful)

sommere (105088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948671)

" designed to autonomously detect, track and destroy hostile ballistic missiles."

does it leave the friendly ballistic missiles alone?

Has anyone contacted Alan Parsons about this? (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948672)

Has anyone contacted Alan Parsons to interview him about his new project?

(hey, minime, stop humping the laser!)

the war machine ... (1, Funny)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948676)

... springs to life, opens up one eager eye ...

Yes, but... (0, Redundant)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948682)

Where are the sharks with the fricken' lasers attached to their heads?

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948803)

mod down redundant

Just an idea (4, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948700)

Do you think they could test it out here also:

1541 Glenfidditch Avenue, Apt 101
Montreal, Quebec
Lat: 45.5092
Long: -73.5539
Mr. Jason Baumgarinagger

He plays his stereo too loud at inappropriate times.

Mirrors? (4, Interesting)

VoidEngineer (633446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948703)

So, would a mirror coating on a missle be an effective counter measure to this laser?

That shouldn't be too difficult to do... heck, I was silvering mirrors in highschool chemistry class.

Reading between the lines . . . (4, Interesting)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948708)

The Airborne Laser (ABL) is the first megawatt-class laser weapon system to be carried on a specially configured 747-400F aircraft, designed to autonomously detect, track and destroy hostile ballistic missiles.

Reading between the lines: This could imply that:

A less than megawatt laser system may already be mounted and in use on the 747-400F.

A megawatt laser system may already be mounted on other (than the 747-400F) type(s) of aircraft.

A megawatt laser system may already be in use in the military for purposes other than the destruction of ballistic missles.

Call me a tinfoil hat guy, but when the military talks about its secret stuff, often what they don't say is more informative than what they do say.

Project Website (4, Informative)

black_widow (41044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948712)

http://www.airbornelaser.com/

http://www.airbornelaser.com/ [airbornelaser.com]

The offical project website with pics progress reports et al.

Here's something else interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948746)

This book [amazon.com] tells all. Check it out!

#irc.6trolltal4.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948747)

baatled in court, - Netcraft has posts on Usenet are The problems

I for one ... (1)

MrSelfDestruct (30535) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948764)

welcome our new Airborne Laser Overlords.

Autonomous? (1, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948770)

The Airborne Laser (ABL) is the first megawatt-class laser weapon system to be carried on a specially configured 747-400F aircraft, designed to autonomously detect, track and destroy hostile ballistic missiles."

Anyone else have the willies that the thing is autonomous? Last I heard this thing had some serious range and could heat up stuff pretty hot. What if it misses? As it is there is nobody to blame, just a plane doing all the work. Its kind of hard to court marial an aeroplane.

Maybe it would be better if it autonomously detected and tracked, then popped a windows popup that said "Would you like to have being destroying a ballistic missile now Yes/no?". Put a noob in front of the monitor and you're done.

If G.I. Joe Has Taught Us Anything (5, Funny)

autosentry (595252) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948780)

. . . It is that these lasers *never* hit their intended target. We would be better off trying to perfect the first Transformer. Now you know.

Move along, nothing to see here. (0, Redundant)

BobRooney (602821) | more than 10 years ago | (#8948792)

Old hat... Real Genius Clicky [imdb.com]

Have you yanks got another country to invade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8948809)

Which terrorist state is next?
Watch out Canada!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?