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New Laser Weapons

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  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    America's progress in advancing laser technology is gaining speed. Back in the 70's, I was aware of laser weapon testing on river boats berthed in Key West, Fl. Later while stationed on the West Coast, I always drove past the large bubbled 747 at Boeing, which was test base for an air based laser weapon. Both weapons were advertised as a once only shot, because it burned components out as it pulsed massive energy bursts of light. However, those weapons as expensive as they were had the ability to knock out targets like airplanes and missiles.

    Now ahead in the future we see advertised laser weapons being inexpensive and having multiple shooting capability without need of repair. Two technologies are competing Northrup-Grumman having a "Firestrike Laser System" and testing currently on platforms such as a Navy Ship. This weapon is being tested as an anti-cruise missile weapon.

    It's a bright future for new weapon development adding to America's arsenal protecting our assets around the world. Two competing technologies to monitor are: "Laser Slab Weapons", which uses massive diode arrays and having advertised capabilities of power past 100KW. The other technology is "Fiber Laser Weapons", which uses multiple fiber optic fibers combined through a prism to concentrate the light and having advertised powers of past 50KW. Now these are just the advertised to the public for your information. I would believe that power may be obtainable in today's whelm of secrecy on weapons that are more than 1 Mega Watts. You can google/bing these two weapon technologies and gain more information and see pictures of the designs. Now we're talking Star Trek's "Phasor".

    "Beam up Scotty"
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    That's cool stuff.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Just about as bad as drones; why do we need this stuff and why be so eager to get more sophisticated killing tools? Is the world getting any better because of this? I doubt it!!
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    This goes into the science of electricity (which is what the phasers of Star Trek use, a Phased Energy beam). Essentially the way it works is that 7 mA of electricity (wattage doesn't really matter except for the burns it would cause) for 3 seconds will stop your heart. From my understanding (granted not perfect but I have studied these theories before some) the way phasers of Star Trek work is they operate at a lower amperage than the 7 mA (unless they are set to kill) so they temporarily 'shut down' the non automatic functions of your body. When this happens you are 'stunned' (knocked unconscious) Part of what they are working on with the laser technology for the military is that function. (One main reason it is not used by the military yet) Imagine being able to send military into combat with a weapon smaller than an M-16 or M-4 that can stun an enemy (meaning better intelligence gathering since you can't question a dead man) and the same weapon can 'burn' a hole in a wall allowing entry to a building bypassing any traps the enemy may have set. Can it be used to kill? Yes, but it can also be used to save lives that would have otherwise been lost on both sides of a conflict. And hey, its just another example of how our modern technology is influenced by a TV program from the 1960's... The list of technology based on Star Trek includes Cell Phones, Computers, and video chat...

    An offshoot of the laser technology is already being studied and prototypes made by computer companies. They are experimenting with using lasers to input data onto crystals. Current estimates are that a hard drive using crystal/laser input technology that is the size of a lap top hard drive could hold over 1000 terabytes of information.

    Truth is a lot of the technology we have now was developed for/by the military. The internet was based off a system designed by the Military during the early part of the Cold War to ensure communication between cities in case a transfer station was destroyed. The military system was the first to break up files into packets and send the individual packets along various routes to be recompiled at their destination. This allows the data to be sent even if a few packets were lost due to an interruption/break in one of the lines of communication. This differs from landline phones in that once a connection is established between two phones the entire phone call follows the same lines, so if a city along the line was taken out, you lost communication and had to try calling the person again, hoping the call went along a different route.

    New killing machine? Maybe, but it also has a huge potential to spare lives and have many non-military uses that will improve our lives.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Runmo.....quit reading comic books. Until you understand Maxwell Equations and Wave Physics you can't make comparisons to electricity and Light Amplified (Laser). It's apples and prunes...........much different. The laser technologies that the military is using currently and about to make it very popular on everything from planes, ships, land vehicles and yes, one day a soldier firing a held laser weapon will not only stun the victim, but more likely burn flesh at an extremely fast rate.

    When I mentioned "Phasor", that was reference to the production of "Star Trek". Whatever you may find being designed around that type of technology that may use your "electricity", it may come to past. But the technologies that I was referring to currently being advertised in a public forum is amplified light or highly energized photon stream that burns through material like a knife through butter. Now, electricity may be used to help generate the light, but there are a variety of ways to generate light without electricity, such as chemical and nuclear. However, I would never make a comparison of electricity and light, both of which are two different mediums holding to different physical laws.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    The military is not currently using any laser weapons. The closest they have come is laser guided weapons. They do have plans to put the experimental laser weapon on a Navy ship this summer, but it is not yet in use. The reason they are putting it on a ship is because its power requirements are enormous. I would also like to point out that it is currently against international law to use even a targeting laser to temporarily blind someone in a warzone. While the United States does violate international law, we normally try to keep it in warzones. An example to consider is giving rights to terrorists captured on a battlefield when the Geneva Conventions says that terrorists have no rights. Considering we are talking about a prototype weapons system, I doubt it will be all that accurate and will probably not be widely used for at least a decade, by that time there may be something closer to a Star Trek phaser. Also given how lasers work (even the small ones used for cutting that have a very short range) if it was used on a human then it would cauterize the wound it caused, reducing the likelihood of death from shock or blood loss. Only shots to a one of 2 or 3 vital organs (the brain, heart, and stomach) would be guaranteed to kill someone, similar to guns now. However bullets don't cauterize the wounds and more people die in battle from blood loss of the bullet wound than the actual bullet killing them outright. While its not guaranteed to reduce the loss of life, it is possible it will have that effect. The only thing keeping us from a phaser like on Star Trek is how to phase the energy, if someone figures that out we could one day not even have guns. (Now that's a thought for the Democrats to pursue. Phasers that can be locked into 'stun' setting so only military and police have ones that could be 'set to kill'. If that replaced guns it would satisfy the right to bare arms while essentially eliminating deaths from guns.)

    Anything can be used to kill people. I can kill someone with an empty soda can, a rock, a computer mouse, pretty much anything. Also by putting the laser on a ship its a pretty good sign, at least for now, its not intended to be used on people directly.

    Note, light is a form of energy.
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    First, being just a woman, & having little empathy with most military weapons, I agree with Dutch who said we probably have more types of killing machines now, than we really need. We have more atomic weapons than the next 26 nations combined. Our financial output for all these gadgets & all the ammunition necessary to supply them, could probably feed the entire earth 100 times. How many people do we really need to kill?

    And since the US govt is nearly, or already, Bankrupt -- mostly due to the extreme costs of waging a few unnecessary wars in the Middle East lately.
    WHY would we be so foolish to waste a few more $billion or $trillion on more weapons of war? Most of our stockpile is just lying around rusting away, or collecting dust in our thousands of bunkers & warehouses. Talk about throwing away money. It is just obscene the amounts of money the USA has wasted on infantile fantasies of GI Joe, for the last 65 years.

    The world "respects" us for the Good we do, & then they want to be closer to us & do deals & treaties with us, & share in the prosperity of a world without war. --- And then we don't have to waste so damn much money trying to kill them : )
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    eternal flame Wrote: First, being just a woman, & having little empathy with most military weapons, I agree with Dutch who said we probably have more types of killing machines now, than we really need. We have more atomic weapons than the next 26 nations combined. Our financial output for all these gadgets & all the ammunition necessary to supply them, could probably feed the entire earth 100 times. How many people do we really need to kill?

    And since the US govt is nearly, or already, Bankrupt -- mostly due to the extreme costs of waging a few unnecessary wars in the Middle East lately.
    WHY would we be so foolish to waste a few more $billion or $trillion on more weapons of war? Most of our stockpile is just lying around rusting away, or collecting dust in our thousands of bunkers & warehouses. Talk about throwing away money. It is just obscene the amounts of money the USA has wasted on infantile fantasies of GI Joe, for the last 65 years.

    The world "respects" us for the Good we do, & then they want to be closer to us & do deals & treaties with us, & share in the prosperity of a world without war. --- And then we don't have to waste so damn much money trying to kill them. Which path do YOU choose?
    Eternal, thanks what you wrote is excellent; my compliments!!
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Dutch yes, I agree with what some of that also. Our military is too big, too wasteful, but so is just about every part of our government.

    EF says ..."We have more atomic weapons than the next 26 nations combined."...

    Completely wrong.

    Total active nuclear warheads (estimated):
    Russia 8,500
    USA 7,700
    France 300
    China 250
    UK 225

    As you can see we don't even have as many as Russia. Maybe she was trying to say that the USA's total military budget equals the combined budgets of many of the next largest militaries combined, which is true.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jamesn Wrote: Dutch yes, I agree with what some of that also. Our military is too big, too wasteful, but so is just about every part of our government.

    EF says ..."We have more atomic weapons than the next 26 nations combined."...

    Completely wrong.

    Total active nuclear warheads (estimated):
    Russia 8,500
    USA 7,700
    France 300
    China 250
    UK 225

    As you can see we don't even have as many as Russia. Maybe she was trying to say that the USA's total military budget equals the combined budgets of many of the next largest militaries combined, which is true.
    May be as an extra note: how many times can we kill all the living things of the whole world if we throw all of that stuff around; can you imagine with the combined stockpile how much overkill there is? Then the question comes are we as people that nuts to have all this overkill?
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Runmo, you couldn't be more wrong, indicating laser weapons are not in use. If you had served your country, you would be informed via service through the armed forces network of information. You also may have had the fortunate opportunity to witness these weapons, like I had in Key West, Fl. during the early 70's and through much of the celebrate "Stars War" development in the 70's, I saw the Boeing aircraft mounted laser weapon plane sitting alongside US-I5 going into Seattle. Yes, laser weapons were coming into the publics eye. In fact, you may read where Britain had shipboard mounted laser weapons on their ships during the Falklands War, now when was that? Ok, you want proof. Since your comic book world doesn't provide you with credible content, I'll provide you with some links to increase your intelligence.

    Google/bing on "laser weapons on Navy Ships", or a good source for all inquiring minds is the vast library of Jane's World of Weapons. Google/bing on "Jane's Weapon Systems, lasers". My God, those comic books have been lying to you.

    Here's some other facts:
    1. See the USS Dewey (DDG-105) and the USS Ponce (LPD-15), both having shipboard mounted laser weapons.
    2. Search up the laser weapons use in the waters of the Indian Ocean, where US ships have already used the lasers during "WAR".

    Forget Buck Rodgers and the 25th century, laser weapons are "HERE". These weapons are fast and furious emerging in the weapon arsenals around the world faster than Dunkin and Krispy Kreme donut consumption.

    3. See facts on China producing "Fog" defenses to counter an attack in the use of laser weapons.
    4. See the http://USNews.NBCNews.com 2013 report on "LAWS", a laser weapon mounted on ships.
    5. See the new "directed energy pulse weapon" that has $1.00 shooting cost per round.
    6. See where the US Navy blasted a ship out of the water using a laser weapon.
    7. See the development of the new "FEL" a free electron laser weapon currently being tested that is beyond any power of current laser weapons that can burn through "feet" of raw steel.

    Of course, there is the older concepts continuing to be developed, such as the "rail gun".

    I would be surprised if you threw away your comic books and searched on the subject areas I proposed. You'll be wasting opportunities to see videos and images of current ships having laser weapons. In fact, an interesting homework assignment for you. Look up laser weapons in the ground forces, such as the soldier on the battle field, tanks, and other vehicles. You might be surprised.

    Yes, laser weapons are in use in America's options of weapons.


  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    Okay, here's the thing, and I had to look it up to find out... the LaWS ('Laser' Weapons System) currently on the Dewey is not a laser as you are thinking. Its not directed light used for cutting or burning. Its what is called a DEW (Directed Energy Weapon) The way DEWs work is they 'excite' the molecules of something. The lasers that are used for cutting (what the system going on the USS Ponce is based on) are called Gas Dynamic lasers. The laser cutting systems are short range. The new system they are testing on the Ponce does not use gas to operate (they say it requires no 'magazine' and will last as long as there is power, which is not true of gas dynamic lasers). The prototype for the new weapons system goes on the Ponce later this year, so its not currently there. Other than the prototype the current LaWS are no more a true laser weapon than my microwave is (which is one of the forms of energy a DEW uses)

    What most people take for laser weapons in current use (i.e. the big tubes on ships that 'shoot lasers' and destroy things) are for guidance. They are used to 'paint' a target.

    The 'Star Wars Weapon's System' NEVER WORKED. It was abandoned by Clinton in 1993 because it didn't work. They then changed to looking at Rail Guns (which are used on ships only right now) and there are looking into using them on a satellite for missile defense. The problems are targeting (lead time calculations would be a pain) and collateral damage (the 'bullet' from a rail gun shot from space would cause as much if not more damage than dropping an ICBM) which would make it pointless to use if the missile its shooting down is already over the US...

    Please provide actual links to what you are talking about, not to the sites front page. The only link you posted in your last comment lead to the front page of NBC news's website. If you are presenting information, don't tell someone to search for it with the key terms you want them to use, different search engines access the meta tags different ways, so we won't all get the same results. Please provide links.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    *Ran*- Do you honestly think you can just Google every weapon the military has? The technology is 110% available to have a compact or large weaponized laser. 110%... I can use very simple items from inside my house at this moment to build a small laser able to cut through paper, cardboard, even thicker objects. Now, do you honestly think the Military with billions cannot?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVjOK2KCwqg

    "Killer Queen"

    "Dynamite with a laser beam, guaranteed to blow your mind - anytime"

    That's all I've got for this topic. Above is a great song though.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    Clay, I realize better than most that there are a lot of secrets kept by the military. (I was a signals intelligence analyst after all) What I am saying, and what I believe AMC is saying is based off of currently known stuff. His basis is a system that is set to be installed on the USS Ponce this summer, so I'm assuming he is talking about stuff that has been declassified, as am I.