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Laser Cannons Coming to an F-16 Near You

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the friggin-lasers dept.

Technology 757

dxprog writes "Reuters is reporting that the US Pentagon is designing a laser cannon that's small enough to fit onto a fighter jet yet powerful enough to knock out a missile. "The High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), being designed by the Pentagon's central research and development agency, will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the size of a large fridge." Now all we need to do is make fighter jets space worthy for that true Star Wars feel."

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let's just get this out of the way: (5, Funny)

WellAren'tYouJustThe (705433) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393000)

Will there be friggin sharks on them too?

laser my asshole please (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393001)

so i cant shit anymore

Thanks!

Sharks (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393005)

Now if only they could mount it to a shark....

Geek/StarWars (0)

bart416 (900487) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393006)

Let the Geek/StarWars in the earth its sky begin :)

Oblig (0, Redundant)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393007)

When do the sharks get them??

Forbidden? (1, Funny)

Saiyine (689367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393008)


Weren't they forbidden by the Geneva convention?

--
Dreamhost [dreamhost.com] superb hosting.
Kunowalls!!! [kunowalls.host.sk] Random sexy wallpapers.

To paraphrase President-"Vice" R. B. Cheney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393021)



Fuck the military-industrial complex [whitehouse.org]

Regardsz,
Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

That's about blinding (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393035)

It sounds like this laser isn't for blinding but for anti-missile defense. It isn't covered by the Geneva convention.

Re:Forbidden? (5, Informative)

PoitNarf (160194) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393048)

I just did some quick searching and found only this on laser weaponry in the Geneva Convention:

"Protocol IV on Blinding Laser Weapons prohibits the use of laser weapons specifically designed to cause permanent blindness to the naked eye (or to the eye with corrective eyesight devices). Countries that are party to the Convention and Protocols will not transfer such weapons to any country or other entity."

So I guess to conform to the Geneva Convention, the lasers will just require the same stickers that they put on childrens water guns: "Point Away From Face"

Re:Forbidden? (4, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393110)

No, to conform to the geneva convention, it just has to be powerful enough to kill you outright. The issue is blinding lasers. They would be classified as maiming weapons, and thus not really cricket. If it blows your head clear off, then it's all fine and dandy.

Re:Forbidden? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393051)

Lasers that blind you were banned under International Treaty in 1995. I somehow think that pointing a 1, 15 or 150KW laser at your head is going to give you a lot more to worry about...

Re:Forbidden? (3, Informative)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393059)

I don't think the Geneva convention includes energy weapons, it dates back to pre-world war 2 I believe.

You may be thinking about weapons in space, if I remember correctly the USA and Russia agreed not to militarise space, which essentially meant no orbitting satellites with either lasers on them or nuclear missiles. (it may have taken kinetic weapons into account too, i'm not sure on that)

Re:Forbidden? (4, Insightful)

tjw (27390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393061)

Weren't they forbidden by the Geneva convention?
They're probably only for firing at "unlawful combatants", so it's OK.

Re:Forbidden? (5, Informative)

DoubleD (29726) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393077)

No.

Article 1 of the Geneva Convention's Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons has laudable aims. It states, "It is prohibited to employ laser weapons specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision."


But Article 3 opens the door to lasers that blind so long as that was not their aim. It states: "Blinding as an incidental or collateral effect of the legitimate military employment of laser systems, including laser systems used against optical equipment, is not covered by the prohibition of this Protocol".


source http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2585 [newscientist.com]

Re:Forbidden? (0, Redundant)

aonaran (15651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393091)

I was just going to say the same thing.

Laser weapons are a really bad idea.
All you need to do to defend against them is make your stuff out of something that reflects the laser's wavelength.

Are we going to see a new era of laser weapons, mirror shields and dead civilians caught by reflections?

Re:Forbidden? (2, Funny)

Chrontius (654879) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393130)

No, we're going to see lots of brighly colored targets for optically-guided cruise missiles.

Re:Forbidden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393144)

Because kenetic energy weapons are completely harmless once they miss...

Re:Forbidden? (2, Informative)

seven of five (578993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393207)

Nothing is perfectly reflective, and if you cover yourself with a 99% reflective surface you're still going to couple with a LOT of energy. Maybe you won't be vaporized a la War of the Worlds, but you'll be burned pretty bad.

Re:Forbidden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393099)

The Geneva convention expressly forbids the use of lasers with the intent of blinding people.

This doesn't stop you from using a laser designed to burn someone alive. It also doesn't prevent lasers that, as a side effect, happen to blind people.

Ah, war crimes. Good times.. Good times.

Lasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393009)

A laser killed my first born child you insensitive cloud!

Re:Lasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393127)

Is this opposed to sensitive "clouds" ?

Re:Lasers (1)

bahamat (187909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393162)

you insensitive cloud!

Your insult would have much more sting if you could provide some examples of sensitive clouds (maybe they're the ones raining?)

Great... (2, Funny)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393010)

Now they just need to be mounted on those damn sharks.

Re:Great... (3, Informative)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393053)

Dr. Evil: You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?

Number Two: Sea Bass.

Dr. Evil: [pause] Right.

Number Two: They're mutated sea bass.

Dr. Evil: Are they ill tempered?

Number Two: Absolutely.

Dr. Evil: Oh well, that's a start.

MOD PARENT +5 INFORMATIVE (1)

SirJaxalot (715418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393106)

The reference is so utterly osbcure that I am sure there is not a single person here how would have gotten the joke without your help.

Re:MOD PARENT +5 INFORMATIVE (1)

Zarel (900479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393138)

Well, considering four out of the first eight top-level posts are shark references, I doubt it's all that obscure.

MOD PARENT DOWN, GRANDPARENT UP, GGP DOWN (1)

SirJaxalot (715418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393161)

A link [reference.com] for you, sir.

Lasers (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393182)

Now we just need to slow light down to 100 miles an hour and we can do r33l star warz.

Top Gun (1, Funny)

thrillbert (146343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393011)

Tom Cruise will have to go in a re-dub the Top Gun Movie to say:

I'm too close for Missles Goose, I'm switching to Lasers!

---
Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.

Re:Top Gun (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393136)

With the advent of missles, real guns were removed from fighters because "the Dogfight is now History" said the received wisdom of the day. Pilots soon corrected that brainless move. I would no be suprised to see a new fighter with lasers, and no missles.....and of course...no guns. After all, "the older tech is now history"...

Re:Top Gun (5, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393172)

I'm too close for Missles Goose, I'm switching to Lasers!

I'm too close for lasers, switching to Scientology.

Hello Mr. Enemy Pilot, may I Audit you?

Will they make noise in space? (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393013)

Once we get them into space, will they make roaring, whooshing noises and manuever just like they did in atmosphere? 'Cause otherwise, forget about it.

Re:Will they make noise in space? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393123)

Of course they will! This is a "fighter jet", and that's it will sound like when its engine are running without oxygen.

The question is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393015)

Anti-missle laser?

Will it be able to knock out a missle coming from behind? Or above? or below?

Will it be able to knock out an ICBM? How about 100 of them?

Ah shucks, *goes off to read the article*.

Re:The question is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393098)

More importantly, the anti-lazer missle. What innovation! I should work for the government.

Increase the forward batteries! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393016)

And a bunch of them on the ground as a point defense wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

HELLADS? (3, Interesting)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393023)

The High Energy Laser Area Defense System
So what's the other L for?
I swear, the military just loves acronyms, whether they make sense or not! And what's an area defense system?

Re:HELLADS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393055)

Too bad they didnt name it the "High Energy Lightwieght Laser Array".. that woulda been HELLA sweet!

Re:HELLADS? (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393073)

ACHOO [acronymfinder.com]
I'm really starting to hate acronyms.

Re:HELLADS? (2, Informative)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393082)

Area defense = defense of a whole area. It doesn't mean that it's firing massively wide beams designed to fry whole areas (well, volumes) of space.

Re:HELLADS? (4, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393143)

So what's the other L for?

"Liquid". HELLADS actually stands for "High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System", despite what Yahoo! would have you believe. Maybe Yahoo! are employing ex-Slashdot editors now; they do seem to copy everything else Google does... ;)

Re:HELLADS? (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393160)

And what's an area defense system?

It's to protect objects spread over a wide area, as opposed to a point defence system, designed to protect one particular object -- such as Phalanx [fas.org] , which is supposed to destroy missiles that are about to hit your ship.

I thought I would never see this day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393028)

Wow!

OK, only 150kW planned, should be ready by 2007, but can shoot down missiles. There was a time I thought the Homeworld defense fighter was the most unrealistic thing devised. Maybe not.

Re:I thought I would never see this day (0, Flamebait)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393203)

OK, only 150kW planned, should be ready by 2007, but can shoot down missiles. There was a time I thought the Homeworld defense fighter was the most unrealistic thing devised. Maybe not.

So did I.

The way things are going, despite assurances from the Whitehouse that they don't agree with him one bit, it'll be piloted by Pat Robertson.

4 out of 5 swinging dicks recommend... (5, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393029)

4 out of 5 swinging dicks recommend more steel plates for their humvees, not another toy for the flyboys.
 

Re:4 out of 5 swinging dicks recommend... (3, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393109)

Look at it this way: The military is a massive institution, that takes decades to complete any major change in its thinking and acting (this is as it should be, I think).

Today's Humvee armor problem stems from the parameters for the Humvee project, which were laid down fifteen or more years ago.

Since then, the nature of battle has changed dramatically, and the kinds of missions the military now faces aren't really ideally suited to the Humvee project the military had already committed to.

So in another ten years, you'll be able to recycle the same old schtick: "4 out of 5 swinging dicks say more lasers for the jets, and less armor for the groundpounders".

Of course, ten years from now that schtick won't be any more relevant or insightful or instructive than it is today, but hey, don't be discouraged: Not everybody can change the way they think and act over time the way the military can. Follow your heart, and I'm sure you will achieve your dream!

Re:4 out of 5 swinging dicks recommend... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393204)

Today's Humvee armor problem stems from the parameters for the Humvee project, which were laid down fifteen or more years ago.

We had Humvees and we had a way to armor the Humvees. The only reason that the Humvees ended up in Iraq without armor is because we went to war with the army we had instead of the army that should have taken the time to equip properly. You can blame it on something 15 years ago or you can blame it on the fact that we rushed into an elective war without preparation and paid the price.

Re:4 out of 5 swinging dicks recommend... (1)

birge (866103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393205)

4 out of 5 swinging dicks recommend more steel plates for their humvees, not another toy for the flyboys.

You're assuming that the government considers money to be a finite conserved quantity. That is not in evidence. Unlike the real world, the Pentagon does not need to subtract money from one project to get more money for another. All it needs to do is talk to some key commitee members in congress and mention a few key phrases, like: "blah blah blah laser blah blah built in your state blah blah" or "blah blah parents of troops from your state" or maybe even "blah blah blah satellite photos of your mistress in cancun."

That's nice... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393030)

That's nice and everything, but when can I get them for my car?

Nice, (4, Funny)

seaniqua (796818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393031)

But will it cook a Jiffy Pop container 20' in diameter?

Re:Nice, (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393118)

What I want to know is what happens when the laser misses its target? A 150 kW laser can probably do some damage to something way downrange on a miss.

I'm certain that someone here can calculate beam spread and power delivery per square centimeter out to whatever distance you want to go. How far does it have to be from my house before it WONT set my cedar siding on fire?

Borealis? (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393032)

Anyone ever come up with what the Aurora [abovetopsecret.com] was powered by?

I'd love to see a pulsed-fusion plane...

...mit laser cannons!

It's got to be said. (-1, Offtopic)

Ken Broadfoot (3675) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393034)

Imagine a beowolf cluster of these!

--ken

What about the Navy? (0, Redundant)

jkitchel (615599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393038)


Does this mean they will get sharks with fricken lasers on their heads?

Re:What about the Navy? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393072)

wow. real original. idiot, maybe you shouldn't repeat the exact same thing the earlier poster did. but then again, you're and idiot and you're not funny. you know where you can shove your lame attempt at cliched humor, so go do it.

MOD PARENT +5 INSIGHTFUL!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393140)

Sharks with lasers? Haven't heard that one before!

Trust Dubya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393041)

"If everything goes according to plan"

Since when does the government has a plan?

Laser cannon my eye (1, Funny)

jlowery (47102) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393046)

NO, NO! NOT MY EYES! AAAAAaaaarrrrrghhhh.

Okay, now I have to enter this stuff to avoid the caps filter. Talk about spoiling a joke....

Power Source? (2, Insightful)

CorporalKlinger (871715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393054)

They can put these things up there, but how will they really be powered? 15kW of energy is a lot to expect from any sort of battery system, unless the weapon can only be used once... Next they'll want to strap a nuclear reactor on the fighter planes to power the next version of the laser (150kW). And if they do have a way to power this for multiple shots, why isn't that same energy storage technology being used in my damn car so I don't have to pay $3 a gallon to fill up the tank?

Re:Power Source? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393133)

Do you know how much power you can tap from a gas turbine the size of Rhode Island, the kind that an F16 mounts?

Neither do I, but it's a whole hell of a lot.

Battery system? (2, Informative)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393134)

How about a honkin' big jet turbine engine?

Actually, I seem to recall reading (albeit in a 'Popular Mechanics' or some such light fare) about the larger all-liquid versions. These things apparently derived their power from a chemical reaction, the reactants being stored in big tanks. I believe that was a big reason for needing a 747-sized platform.

Re:Power Source? (1)

oringo (848629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393155)

KW is a unit for power, i.e. energy/time. So a 15kW lazer doesn't necessarily mean you have to put a nuke plant on a F-16. As long as the battery/capacitor can withstand extremely high current, 15 or even 150kW is doable. You just need to recharge between shots.

Re:Power Source? (1)

MadMorf (118601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393194)

They can put these things up there, but how will they really be powered? 15kW of energy is a lot to expect from any sort of battery system, unless the weapon can only be used once.

I can't find an exact figure anywhere, but those F-100 and F-110 engines generate several kW of energy already...

Re:Power Source? (1)

Hack Jandy (781503) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393200)

Chemical lasers?

HJ

Re:Power Source? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393210)

It's got jet engine(s) - will they produce enough power? According to this converstion table [iastate.edu] , 15 KW = 20 HP. My car has considerably more than that, and it doesn't generate anywhere near as much power as a jet engine.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393060)

Lets see what the Linux fuckwits will have to say about this one

Not to be too pointed but... (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393063)

Will these new laser cannons be able to shoot box cutters as well?

Missile defense (2, Funny)

robogun (466062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393069)

I can see the headline now: Air Force "reflects" on decision to purchase sexy new laser, after a test backfires when attempting to shoot down a mirrored missile...

& yes, defending against laser is that simple.

Re:Missile defense (1)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393108)

No it isn't that simple. A powerful enough laser will still be able to damage missiles due to imperfect reflective surfaces. Also, there's always the engine of the missile to aim for if you happen to behind it.

Re:Missile defense (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393116)

Sorry, defending against a laser isn't that simple.

You ever felt how hot a mirror gets in sunlight? Well, a lot of the light that hits it is converted to heat. Even a highly mirrored surface would get incredibly hot under a 150Kw laser beam. A missle is essentially a flying tube under a lot of stress, so a small non-uniform structural weakness would have the capability to tear it apart if it was travelling at high speed....

Re:Missile defense (1)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393128)

Seems that most missiles have some type of forward-looking sensor for tracking their target. I'd imagine ramming a high-powered laser beam down its throat could cause problems. You can't mirror the whole missile because it needs to see.

Re:Missile defense (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393157)

So what happens if they use a one-way mirror for the sensor housings?

Re:Missile defense (2, Funny)

Spudley (171066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393142)

I can see the headline now: Air Force "reflects" on decision to purchase sexy new laser, after a test backfires when attempting to shoot down a mirrored missile...

& yes, defending against laser is that simple.


So how come Queen Amidala's ship had such difficulty getting past the blockade?

Re:Missile defense (1)

Muerte23 (178626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393185)

While what you say may be true regarding radar guided missiles, where the nose may be covered with a reflective material of thickness small than the skin depth of the radar waves, it will be *highly* effective against infrared homing missiles whose sensors typically require optical access to the target. Oh, and other planes.

And I don't think it's quite as simple as painting the missile silver - cracks, joints, dirt or otherwise will absorb the laser light and catch fire / break / whatever.

m

Re:Missile defense (2)

user317 (656027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393188)

thats what i thought when i read the story as well. maybe they are using some sort of a spectrum for which there is no reflective material. there may be no such thing as a perfect mirror, so some of the energy must be translated into heat, but i would image it would be a lot easier to make a mirror 10 times more pure then to increase the laser 10 times in power.

also can be used *against* f16, or any other plane (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393078)

how long until russia or china figures this out? you want to fly into airspace that can be dissected fifty times in ten seconds? no jet can outrun light.

Link to DARPA (3, Informative)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393079)

HELLAD DARPA PAGE [darpa.mil]

Re:Link to DARPA (3, Informative)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393141)

Google is your friend...

From a DARPA PDF:
"To help arm tactical platforms, the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS)
program is developing a new high energy laser (HEL) tactical weapon system whose unique
cooling system might allow the system to be 10 times lighter, significantly smaller, and
approximately half the cost of current developmental HEL systems.
The HELLADS design goal of less than 5 kilograms per kilowatt would enable, for the first time,
high energy lasers that could be integrated into several air and ground tactical platforms,
including unmanned combat armed rotorcraft (UCAR), UCAV, Predator B, the F/A-18, and
future ground combat systems. HELLADS could protect fixed installations or population centers
from attack, patrol a border, or patrol a demilitarized zone with the capability to react to hostile
actions and engage tactical missiles, rockets, or artillery at the speed of light."

This is from 2003, so this has been steeping for a while... is it soup yet?

SO will they go (5, Funny)

fromtheblueline (717915) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393081)

Pew pew or Brzzap?

Re:SO will they go (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393169)

The laser cannons won't go anything. The item they hit may go Pew or Brzzap or any number of strange, yet subtly exciting, sounds.

-Adam

Just what the troops need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393085)

Well ... 1700 lbs seems a little tanky .. but now we know how the military is going to justify the expense of those strength-enhancing bionic suits.

PERFECT! (1)

thejackhmr (643947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393094)

Oh man, can you picture it? A squadron of choppers with laser canons mounted on them, zapping up little terrorists in the desert? I love my military.

Compact? (2, Insightful)

Dan Morenus (179942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393096)

I dunno, something the size of "a large fridge" seems pretty bulky to strap to a fighter. Seems more suitable for a bomber somehow.

Great... (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393100)

Now all we need is a targeting system that can get close enough, hit a missile with its laser toy, and hold the beam steady on the target long enough to actually destroy it -- all before the missile is able to do its own damage. I'm betting they'd have better luck with kinetic interceptors that at least only have to hit once.

Found the Secret to Liquid Lasers Thermal Dynamics (1)

pvxhound (845991) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393111)

You mean there really was a purpose for all those round rings on the barrels of the sci fi lasers? Guess you just have to be going mach 1 plus to work.

but... (1)

floron (884050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393113)

the terrorists are ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes

Back to good ol' bullets? (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393114)

Well, we haven't had very good luck shooting down missiles when the platform is stationary. Why they think it'll be easier when firing at a moving target from a moving platform, I have no idea.

That's not to say that I don't think it makes sense. Air combat these days is all about moving your missiles close, firing them away, and high-tailing it out of there. It'll be interesting to see what happens if missiles suddenly become useless and people have to close to visual range and dogfight away.

Re:Back to good ol' bullets? (1)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393152)

Now, now. Bear in mind that two trajectories have to be matched in order to intercept a missile with a missile. It's much easier with a hitscan weapon like a laser beam (or railgun). Bots are QUITE good with these kinds of weapons. ;-)

Re:Back to good ol' bullets? (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393191)

I think it's more likely they will fire many missles instead of 1, from different directions at the same time. Have fun shooting them down.

A fridge is still a Fridge (2, Funny)

JamJam (785046) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393115)


From TFA:
The High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS)...will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the size of a large fridge... But the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency reckons it has solved the problem by merging liquid and solid state lasers to cut the size and weight by "an order of magnitude,"
Great, does that mean it'll eventually get to the size of mini-bar fridge?

Hellads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393119)

HELLADS

Advertising from hell? Or is this what the next generation of adware will be called? Oh wait, laser you say...

ouch (2, Interesting)

pin_gween (870994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393120)

a 150-kW beam and capable of knocking down a missile will be ready by 2007

Hmmm, I'm torn.

On one hand, IF it hits its intended target, that is one less "consumable" missile defense that has to be manufactured and paid for--> not a "one and done" defense.

On the other, it's one thing when stray bullets strafe a school like in New Jersey, but oh my, imagine the holes this could leave.

Remember command and conquer generals zero hour (1)

absolutkfx (909987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393145)

This reminds me alot about general granger who only used planes and almost all of them had a laser defense system. In all seriousness through if this thing could be used repeatedly i think they are better off in helicopters not on jets.

Pfft! (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393147)

Forget laser cannons, I want my plasma cannons and fusion ball launchers.

will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393148)

will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the size of a large fridge.

Just perfect for my UAHTV (Urban Assault High-Technical Vehicle).

Oooo Shiney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13393158)

::Puts on my highly-polished tin foil hat::

"They won't know what hit them" (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393177)

Wow. If anyone has ever played the EA produced game Command & Conquer: Generals, it seems that EA is right on target.

I will be expecting anti-missle/anti-aircraft tanks(Avengers[C&C:G]), and anti-missle weaponry on military and commercial planes.
---
Posting in an unimportant Slashdot Article Thread.

Wonderful! (0)

revscat (35618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393178)

I'm sure that will help tremendously when it comes to protecting soldiers and civilians from getting blown to smithereens by roadside bombs and/or suicide bombers.

measure your fridge from the air? (5, Funny)

phil4 (666912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393180)

and measures the size of a large fridge. Cool! Lasers have been used for measurement before, but I bet this is the first time the military has been able to measure your fridge in your kitchen from 20,000 feet. The small hole in the kitchen ceiling is a small price to pay for this protection from oversize fridges.

JSF (2, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13393199)

Some versions of the JSF will have a laser system installed in the empty cavity used for the second engine in the VSTOL variant. The last thing I read on this suggested that the firing rate would be once every 30 seconds due to cooling requirements. I doubt any F-16 based system mounted on external hard points would be any better.
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