Airborn Tactical Laser: How will it change the field of battle?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rasmasyean, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #1
  2. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #2
    Military Bollix speak "ultra precision strike capability",English "will destroy everything and everyone unfortunate enough to be anywhere near when this is used".
     
  3. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #3
    "Power without responsibility is the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages"
     
  4. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #4
    Yeah! Even more innocent men, women and children can be annihilated in the name of Freedom™.
     
  5. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

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    reminds me of the shrinker gun from the movie "Mystery Men".

    "That's a high-temperature fabric adhesive liquid projector,
    based on simple drycleaning technology. You aim that at a guy,
    and, I'll tell you something: His clothes get so tight he can't even
    breathe. I can trick that out with a clamshell holster. Comes with a
    leather carrying case, it's got a wad cutter and a full warranty.
    "

    I don't buy this "ultra precision" non sense. First and foremost, the weapon is only as accurate as its operator. And we heard the same crap about those "ultra precise" laser/gps guided bombs and missles that missed their targets by by jaw dropping distances.

    Also, how can they pop the tires and disable the weaponry of a vehicle without affecting it's occupants?
     
  6. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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  7. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #7

    Hmmmm!
     
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    In the end though, the program will probably be cancelled after a madcap series of events leads to the laser being used to heat a giant bowl of popcorn in the evil professor's house.
     
  9. alFR macrumors 68020

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    I should imagine it'll make it blacker and more smoky.
     
  10. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #10
    I'm for it, but only if it increases the likelihood that U.S. media outlets will display graphs for Olympic medals correctly. :p
     
  11. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Ha, I wonder if you can use it to write "DROP YOUR WEAPONS OR GET FRIED!" on a building or something like that. Collateral damage FTW!!!:p
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    "Deniable Plausibility", I'd call it.
     
  13. iShater macrumors 604

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    #13
    Notice how the description of how it can be "useful' in Iraq, is basically describing a weapon of terror ... just like that precision human guy that .... :rolleyes:


    These guys haven't heard of turbulence? :confused:
     
  14. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #14
    I suppose this device could either save lives or take even more, depending on how it's used.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Not really. A DEW like this is no less inherently humane than a rifle caliber bullet. Right, now, .50 caliber weapons are used against insurgents partially because of the psychological effects. The shock cone surrounding a .50 caliber class weapon's projectile can tear a person in two.

    The advantage of the DEW is that it does not follow a ballistic trajectory, and is thus inherently more accurate than any firearm or artillery. It's also theoretically cheaper than missiles and less easily defeated. If used properly it could definitely reduce collateral damage/civilian casualties, since the weapon does not rely on an explosive force.

    This must be a spin-off of the airborne laser program.
     
  16. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #16
    Sure, just like the atom bomb did.

    It just depends on who's lives are being taken.
     
  17. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  18. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #18
    And what happens when other countries want one?

    The future's bright.
     
  19. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a

    GorillaPaws

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    #19
    This may be a stupid question, but if someone shot me with that thing and I was holding up a mirror, would I be fried into oblivion? or could I reflect the beam back at the guy trying to shoot me?
     
  20. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #20
    With a household mirror, yes, you would be fried into oblivion. These lasers are infrared: they'll go right through the mirror.
     
  21. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    It's also invisible without IR imaging type devices of whatever wavelength it is. And you would have trouble reflecting it directly back to the source by hand. It's impossible to do something like this. It's only in cartoons.

    You would need a precise mounted positioning device for the mirror tracking the plane while it shoots at the mirror on purpose. And it also is supposed to be really short burst according to the article.
     
  22. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    No, the mirror would explode and the beam (followed by super-sonic shrapnel) would turn you into a hot-pocket. Your only defense against high-energy DEWs is either attenuating the beam (by throwing up a dense and reflective dust) or having ablative armor (ceramic tiles like on the space-shuttle) and being able to rapidly maneuver (like some ICBMs may be capable of).

    Yep, they just shrunk the laser so it can be carried in a C-130 rather than a modified 747. Originally, ABL projects were for anti-missile defenses (an airborne version of the THEL)

    The laser adjusts for turbulence and other variations.

    This is the most important point, IMHO. There are two problems with current "smart" or "precision-guiding munitions." The first is accuracy. A Hellfire missile can be guided into within a few inches of the laser-marker, but when a Hellfire goes bang, it will kill people surrounding the target. A JDAM has the same problem. While you can target a fairly small area, especially compared to the bombings of WWII wherein dozens of bombs might be dropped on a single target, you still have "collateral damage."

    The second problem is finding the target and in this, the ABL has the same problem as a sniper or the RQ-1 loitering overhead. This problem won't be solved by new "super-kewl" weapons no matter how good they are, and this is one of the places wherein the US force has the greatest lack. We need good intel to make all this cool stuff work.

    Once the ABL is widely deployed, people will know to look for occurrences of C-130s and signs of damage from a laser and be able to know who made the attack. Deniability will still be a problem.
     
  23. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Like the Abrams tank. It can lock and shoot on the run thus making it a lot harder be targeted and hit by a round...even seeking missile if the missile can't maneuver fast enough.
     
  24. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    Sort of. The M-1A1/2 has a system to adjust the barrel mechanically (most importantly up and down to keep on target and to keep from smashing the barrel into the ground.)

    The ATL uses a series of mirrors to focus and direct the beam, and I believe, a range-finder to adjust the beam for atmospheric turbulence. The actual laser pulse is short-enough that the airframe's movement shouldn't be a problem.

    Of note, we've talked about the ATL being used as a sniper-weapon, but the beam is about 10cm wide.
     
  25. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Maybe if you carry a really large "shield" that can reflect the wavelength that operated like these...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector

    But I imagine it would costs a lot to make something precise enough for this purpose and it would make you a pretty obvious target to spot for some other round.
     

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