Boeing Humvee mounted Laser shoots down aircraft

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rasmasyean, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Last month, a small robotic plane flew into the skies over New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range. Tracking the drone was an experimental Humvee, equipped with a laser. The real-life ray gun then took aim at the drone, and began blasting. Soon, the drone had a hole burnt through it -- and was crashing down to the desert.
    http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/01/laser-1-drone-0.html
    Looks like we’re approaching a new age of warfare. Aerial advantage will be turned into a deathtrap. Maybe flying lead will join the arrow and the dart.

    How do you think this will this change what we know about armed conflict?

    Discuss… :)
     
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    #2
    you have no idea what's ahead, Star Wars type stuff
     
  3. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #3
    we will see a lot of really shiny aircrafts in the future
     
  4. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #4

    Introducing the all new Lockheed Martin 'Flying Mirror'!
     
  5. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #5
    Only of any use in shooting down slow-flying drones where you have a chance to focus on the target for a considerable time. Utterly useless against fast-flying jets.
     
  6. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #6
    A lot of these tests give the weapon a big advantage. As mentioned - to have the capability to take a plan down quickly even if it takes evasive action would be something better.
    Sounds a bit likesome testing of ballistic defence - nice money earner, but not foolproof yet.
     
  7. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #7
    Its a first step, 10 years from now it wil be fast jets.
     
  8. rasmasyean thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I guess it's "low flying jets". Because high flying fast planes won't need fast turret. But then there's AAA for those WW2 style bombing runs.
     
  9. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #9
    Then you put anti laser coating on planes, then they make anti anti laser coating lasers. War is a endless cycle we have been doing since day 1.

    No wonder ET wants nothing to do with us except an occasional DNA sample. Lets see have they given up their warlike behavior we have been checking on for the past 2,000 years? Nope still there.:D
     
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #10
    The Devil is in the details. ;)
     
  11. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    #11
    may not be true.

    of the energy is strong enough putting a hole in a wing, engine or stabilizer, rupturing a fule line or tank may cause enough damage to bring down a plane.

    there is a local company that is welding with lasers. instead of fusing two pieces of metal what about puncturing a single layer of metal
     
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #12
    I don't know about that..... With the way our tracking systems can lock on to fast moving items and keep up with them. I don't think this will be 10 years away at all. 2-3 at most. This was just a test remember. Heck just look at our defense systems in our navel fleet. We have guns that track missiles and shoot them down.

    Just doing a quick google search, I found that in 2000 the Army used a laser to shoot down a missile. So the technology is there and has been there.

    Links:

    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/laser-00g.html
    http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/news00/000607-thel1.htm
    http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.mhtml?d=63020

    The last one is about a laser shooting down a mortar round.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    The only question is, how long before this gets mounted on a shark?
     
  14. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #14
  15. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #15
    I find it somewhat ironic that Boeing is working on technology to shoot down aircraft...

    Reading through related articles through that link (more on that in a sec), I was intrigued with the potential application for lasers as sniper weapons. Invisible beam, which masks the shooters location and makes the target seemingly spontaneously burst into flame.

    As for that link - interesting stuff to be sure, but it all seems a little "rah rah" on how we have all these great ideas in tech to "keep us safe". The tone just gave me pause...

    Mac - great comment btw.
     
  16. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #16
    *Waits for the 'Laser Control' threads to pop up in 50 years time*
     
  17. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #17
    I, for one, welcome our new Humvee overlords.
     
  18. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #18
    but high flying planes need also more powerful (means more power generators) and more precise lasers (which very likely means bigger more steady vehicles which also require

    don' forget that even lasers loose precision over distance

    also for taking down a plane you have to burn a bigger "hole" to do damage than on a drone (= more power needed) and that in less time (which means more power yet again)


    then keep in mind that military jets don't sit around doing nothing... don't forget that just like radar also lasers work in both ways ... with an automated infrared scanner you very likely can spot them fast even miles away at the intensity they need to hurt an object
    which means -> position revealed instantly... which for any ground vehicle very big power hungry launch station means certain death already NOW .. and even more so 20 years from today when those lasers will be operational

    my countermeasure against such laser weapons would be a group of combined controlled small jet powered drones each equipped with 1-2 rockets ...
    if a laser fires --> he is killed by one of the other drones
    if he doesn't fire he will be sooner or later discovered by them and also killed

    - also those lasers very likely need hefty power generators which means they are very visible for infrared and thus easy to spot
    - on top of that they also might need radar to spot enemy vehicles especially with bad visual conditions
    - what about bad visual conditions anyway ? what if it snows ? rain ? fog ?
    - what countermeasures can be made by planes ? shiny surfaces ? smoke generators at the tip of a plane ? developing drones /missiles specialized on layering smoke ?

    the amount of problems are ridiculous just like with SDI .. which means the arms developers will earn billions over decades
     
  19. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #19
    You're new to this whole military-technology thing aren't you...

    That's like saying the invention of LaserDisc was utterly useless. It may not be prime-time yet, but early testing and proof of concepts are hugely important.
     
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #20
    So, this will help the U.S. down the road, in imposing their will on the World??

    OK, good stuff. Full speed ahead. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #21
    I'm all for it but only if the lasers make the "pew pew" sound.
     
  22. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #22

    But think of the profits!
     
  23. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #23
    You're right, we should let the other people invent the bows and arrows. That's sure to turn out alright in the end.

    /Agincourt
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    Hugely important for bringing the company billions of borrowed Pentagon research money for twenty years, by which time the technology is completely out of date.
     
  25. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #25
    and never let yourself fool yourself that those Bows and arrows going to decided those wars because just a few years later it was payback time:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Patay

    arms development is always a a race between offense and defense ...
     

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