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Navy expects to conduct shipboard laser weapon trials in 12 to 18 months

The U.S. Navy has plans to test a new high-power laser being developed by Northrop Grumman for effectiveness against small ship targets. reports that the Navy has been looking for a weapon system to use against small craft like attack boats or even jet skis in crowded waters.

Northrop Grumman won a contract worth $98 million for the Maritime Laser Demonstration. The Navy expects a prototype laser system to be installed on a ship and ready for testing in the next 12 to 18 months. The Navy is reportedly looking for a laser system with a power output in the tens of kilowatts range. In March, Northrop Grumman was able to achieve a laser with a power output of 105 kilowatts in the lab.

Northrop Grumman's Dan Wildt said, "This is an opportunity to transition solid-state laser technology to the warfighter. We've been trying to make the transition for a long time, and we see the Navy being very serious about understanding this capability."

Once the prototype laser system is fitted to a ship the system will be tested against a remotely controlled small boat in a representative at-sea environment. The laser system uses technology from the Joint High Power Solid-State Laser (JHPSSL) program.

The laser system is appealing to the Navy because it offers the ability to provide a graduated response to a threat. The weapon system will be able to shine a low-power green laser on a target as a warning to stay away from a ship. If the warning isn’t effective, the high-power laser could then be used to damage the boats hull or destroy the boats engine.

One thing that still has to be worked out with the laser system is how it will perform in an at-sea environment when there is aerosol in the air that could scatter the laser beam. Wildt says, "The Navy wants to take this to sea to see how it operates and gather the data to make a real transition decision."

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Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By nafhan on 7/17/2009 10:55:09 AM , Rating: 5
They can already provide a graduated response!
Here's an example of how this would be done using current technology:
Step 1. An amplified loudspeaker device is used to project a warning such as "Get the **** away from the ship". Simultaneously, a high power searchlight is pointed at the intruder.
Step 2. Intruder does not respond to initial warning.
Step 3. Shipboard projectile based weapons (commonly known as "guns") are utilized to fire upon and destroy the target.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By weskurtz0081 on 7/17/2009 11:31:32 AM , Rating: 5
I think this graduated response is a little more effective. The perpetrator will immediately know that they have been acquired in the targeting system, and that they do not stand a chance to make it to the target.

Just think about it. With a spotlight and some loud speakers, sure you have been spotted, but that won't have the effect of a laser beam hitting you knowing it's soon to be followed by the full power beam.

A graduated response all from the same weapon, not having to do a bunch of different things to achieve the same result.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By Maiyr on 7/17/2009 12:22:11 PM , Rating: 5
While I agree with your line of thinking you have to put yourself in the perpetrators shoes. Anyone approaching a naval ship, that has been warned in anyway to stay away or die, is going to do what they want no matter the warning method used. Spotlight and guns or laserbeam it doesn't matter. Remember, criminals typically aren't smart and/or aren't rational. You and I would be like, "oh shit, laser on me, turn the f around and lets get out of here". Perpetrators aren't going to think that way.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By knutjb on 7/17/2009 2:04:45 PM , Rating: 1
True, however, in today's PC environment those who know or care nothing for our own safety, just "their" world image, are in a position of power to mandate additional steps. We can't err on the side of our safety it might look bad to the rest of the world.

So we have to protect the dimwits who don't know any better from themselves or those testing our response times at the potential loss of our life and equipment. You know, a kinder gentler killing machine.

If you can do it all from a single weapon you can respond a little quicker, hopefully stopping them before they go boom.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By Maiyr on 7/17/2009 4:14:52 PM , Rating: 3
I completely agree with everything you say; and if we are able to perform the task more efficiently (laser vs guns and spotlights) then it is a proper step in the right direction. I probably wasn't clear. I was mostly referring to --

"I think this graduated response is a little more effective. The perpetrator will immediately know that they have been acquired in the targeting system, and that they do not stand a chance to make it to the target."

I guess I really just feel that no matter the deterrent it is going to make little difference to the perpetrator. Deterrents are ineffective against people of that mindset.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By MrBlastman on 7/17/2009 4:31:25 PM , Rating: 5
I disagree...

Sharks with laserbeams on their backs are guaranteed to deter even the craziest of loons.

By Maiyr on 7/17/2009 10:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
lol, agreed !

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By Flail on 7/17/2009 10:27:11 PM , Rating: 5
On their backs? How are they supposed to aim it? They need it attached to the top of their frickin heads.

By daInvincibleGama on 7/18/2009 1:15:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know. But it seems to have been done before.

By ImSpartacus on 7/18/2009 7:36:17 PM , Rating: 5
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.

By grandpope on 7/20/2009 7:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think the problem would be keeping the sharks around the ship after they are released into the water. I suspect dolphins would be easier to train to heel.

By lyeoh on 7/18/2009 10:46:23 AM , Rating: 2
If the beam is bright enough to be visible in the air, it's more than bright enough to blind you permanently if you're looking right at it.

As it is, I suspect there's a high chance the targets will go blind if they are looking in the general direction when the laser hits them.

While the rules of war say that you cannot use laser weapons that designed to blind people, apparently it's OK if it's just a side-effect of your targeting lasers, or lethal lasers in targeting mode ;).

By delphinus100 on 7/23/2009 11:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, having a targeting laser trained on me would be pretty intimidating, even now...

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By JediJeb on 7/17/2009 11:54:23 AM , Rating: 5
But the lasers will not need to have windage and trajectory compensation and the computer targeting system will better track the moving small craft. With a laser, you point and shoot, and if the beam is on the craft in warning mode, it will hit in full power mode.

Plus it is just so much more cool to see the laser blowing it up instead of a bullet slowly sinking it.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By grant2 on 7/17/2009 1:08:03 PM , Rating: 1
"hit in full power mode"

lasers have to be held on the target for a period of time before they deliver sufficient heat to cause damage. What that length of time is, i don't know, it could be a millisecond it could be 15 seconds.

That is why laser-based missile defence is such a folly to pursue right now. The navy isn't even sure it can damage a rubber boat travelling at 20 knots from half a mile using a laser aimed from a stationary battleship. Yet some people have wet dreams that a laser on an aircraft flying 500 knots can somehow target & track a metal-encased missile flying 10x as fast, from dozens or hundreds of miles away, long enough to disable it?

even if these tests are 100% successful, a laser beam still nowhere close to just "point & shoot" more like "train & hold" and don't expect any fancy explosions unless fuel is struck.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By boldingd on 7/17/2009 1:19:32 PM , Rating: 1
You may have missed the "105 kW" bit about that laser. I'm no physicist, but that is, roughly speaking, a massive amount of energy. I can see that causing sufficient damage to stop a small craft pretty quickly. And we're also a little better at targeting lasers than you seem to think we are.

I just hope to God we don't completely automate the targeting, especially since this thing is designed to be used in crowded environments -- presumably crowded with civilian targets. The potential for disaster is huge, if they substantially or entirely automate this thing and, once it's deployed, it starts deciding that seals or speed-boats or people on docks on shore are targets, and begins blasting them with a 105 kW laser.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By Solandri on 7/17/2009 9:28:29 PM , Rating: 5
You may have missed the "105 kW" bit about that laser. I'm no physicist, but that is, roughly speaking, a massive amount of energy.

It's not that much. If you have a car with 140 horsepower, it has a 105 kW engine.

105 kW applied to a single spot for 1 second will impart 105,000 Joules of energy. A ton of TNT is 4.2x10^9 Joules, so 105 kJ is as much energy as 1/40th of a kg of TNT, a little less than an ounce of TNT.

A .50 caliber bullet carries with it about 17 kJ of energy. So this laser is about as powerful as a .50 caliber machine gun which fires 6 rounds per second (360 rounds per minute). Looking it up, the .50 cal the U.S. used during WWII fired about 800 rounds per minute, so that would've imparted about twice as much energy per second onto the target as this laser.

It's a first step, don't expect too much. It eliminates the need to carry ordinance, and the associated problems of resupply and risk of magazine explosions.

By Solandri on 7/17/2009 9:32:03 PM , Rating: 4
Incidentally, the airborne laser alluded to in the parent post is around 1 megawatt fired for 3-5 seconds, so it's substantially more powerful.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By Triple Omega on 7/18/2009 4:10:54 PM , Rating: 4
You are forgetting two facts here:

1) The laser doesn't miss, a gun does. That gun might be able to fire 800rpm, but will only deliver a fraction of that on target. Even better the laser can hit pretty much the same spot constantly while that is completely impossible with a gun in this situation. Thus the energy is much more focused and much more quickly delivered to the target.

2) The laser is very hot and due to the focus and power has a lot of penetrative power. The chances of it igniting any fuel or munitions on board the target are very high. That while you would need incendiary rounds and considerably more luck to achieve the same with a conventional gun.

By amagriva on 7/20/2009 4:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
Forget the mirrors, but what about laser guided missiles?
A North korean battleship will not even need to "illuminate" the target, you are doing it by yourself...
Hmmm...They are warning us! Ok lock to the yanks a polite answer...

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By dardas on 7/19/2009 4:41:22 PM , Rating: 3
comparing energy output is misleading.
even though a .50 cal has a relatively high ROF (<400RPM, the higher ones are only used on aircraft since they get extremely hot), they also have rather extreme kickback. that means no 2 bullets will ever hit the same spot.

a computer controlled laser weapon, on the other hand can smoothly deliver all of it's energy on a single spot. effectively boring a hole straight thru the engine/fuel supply/weapons etc... the only thing it requires is time.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By Integral9 on 7/20/2009 8:07:06 AM , Rating: 3
Phalanx > LASER for close support. Why bored 1 hole through something in 1 second when you can turn it into swiss cheese in 2?
It's already automated, been used for years and highly effective. It even shoots down missiles.

Also, LASERS are great, except when it's foggy, moist, or there's lots of water in the air, eg: spray from a boat's bow... So basically, LASERs suck at sea and in the clouds. Save your LASERs for space people.

By MrPoletski on 7/21/2009 6:17:07 AM , Rating: 3
Also, LASERS are great, except when it's foggy, moist, or there's lots of water in the air, eg: spray from a boat's bow... So basically, LASERs suck at sea and in the clouds. Save your LASERs for space people.

I'm pretty sure a bit of sea spray isn't going to interrupt a 105Kw laser for very long.

By MrPoletski on 7/21/2009 6:35:31 AM , Rating: 3
ah you miss an important thing about lasers vs tnt.

First, 25 grams of TNT (your figure) will have a volume of about 15cm3 (a sphere 4.4cm in diamter, just under 2 inches). When that TNT blows, it's energy will be released in all directions. Only half of it will be imparted on the target surface and a good deal of that will blow off to the sides, incident off the surface.

Either way, you're looking at about a third of the explosive power being distributed over a circular area of about 5cm diameter. So modify our results and you need 75 grams of TNT, giving a diameter of nearer 10cm, meaning your blast are is gonna be more like 12-15cm.

Now this laser could be focused down to a millimeter point.

With the same amount of energy, distributed over 12cm diameter vs 1mm diameter means an imparted energy *density* that is 14,000 times as high.

This will give the laser vastly, vastly superior penetration power than exploding 75g of TNT every second on the surface of your target.

That said, however, the TNT is likely to cause far more collateral damage to the target itself which may be useful to you or it may not be. Boring a hole through that thick armour plating through to the engine room and through the engine would stop a battleship in its tracks.

Now imagine you bore through to the ammunition store, or the radar system before you launch an attack.

also, there is no defence to this weapon short of coating your ship in mirrors. The AEGIS or Goalkeeper will be useless against this weapon.

In fact, you could probably attack them with it and they wont notice until a ship hand is walking through one of the decks an notices a tiny hole just appeared in the hull (I dunno, before walking up to it and getting his head sliced off, frikkin n00b). Conversely, incoming shells are a tad easier to notice. BAM.

The real threshold for this laser weapon though, is being able to heat up the metal faster than it conducts the heat away. This is going to make the weapon less effective against larger targets and more effective at smaller or non metallic ones. This wepon would be in existance if it hadn't already passed that threshold though but it remains a source of 'loss' to the power of the weapon.

By mmc4587 on 7/21/2009 1:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
It appears you have knowledge but no understanding.

The nature of the force applied is far more important than the amount of force.

You can't compare apples to oranges.

Which option would be best for destroying a hand mirror:
hitting it with a 100 GigaWatt lazer or bashing it with a brick?

Energy/power does not equate to usefulness. An apple may have more potential energy than .50 cal round, but the energy from the apple is useless if you want to blow something up, and the bullet is useless if you want to feed a squirrel.

The important thing is not the power of the laser but the feasibility of it being useful. To have anything intelligent to say on the matter, one must know much much more than just the power output.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By lewislink on 7/17/09, Rating: 0
By Silver2k7 on 7/17/2009 4:31:01 PM , Rating: 3
perhaps like that james bond car.. where the paint job or outher hull is actually nano-cubes or some other small shape with many surfaces.. where you click a button and the hull of your boat becomes completly mirrored..

of course it wont help when they find their old fashioned canons..

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By knutjb on 7/17/2009 2:52:12 PM , Rating: 4
What planet do you live on?

Everyone criticized Reagan's Star Wars idea but it has created technology that can shoot down missiles.

The Navy wouldn't be contracting this in tight budgetary times if it wasn't based on sound research and engineering.

Folly is to sit and try nothing. You cannot create anything if you wait for technology to do it with.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By MrBlastman on 7/17/2009 4:36:52 PM , Rating: 1
It is the new in vogue Obama mentality - be friendly, nice and sit back and pray! (after getting rid of the guns and defenses)

Only problem with that is history has already shown it doesn't work. How quickly we forget 9/11.

Star Wars was a great idea and anti-missile tech can only help us rather than hurt us. If our enemies don't like it - waaa, let them cry all day. Maybe they'll start throwing rocks at us.

However, in respect to the other guys post - a low powered laser _would_ take time to heat the target, a higher powered one could potentially be quite volatile and destructive very quickly. All you have to do is stand outside on a sunny day, pull out a magnifying glass and point it at some ants.

The ants that get hit with a wide blob of light might take quite a long time to ignite. The ants that get hit by a narrower blob of light will start to smoke, roast and burn quicker. The ants that get hit by a pinhead-sized, extremely bright and focused spot of light will go "poof" almost instantly.

...Or was everyone else here not as sadistic when they were a kid to test things like this?

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By lewislink on 7/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By straycat74 on 7/17/2009 8:58:16 PM , Rating: 3
Do you work for the government? You are really amazed at his competence? Really? If you were really a Republican before, you probably were not a conservative.

Put yourself first mentality

Our great country was founded to allow us to express our God-
given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Stealing from the producers and giving to the least motivated of us will only work until the producers are bled dry. Then what?

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By ZoZo on 7/18/2009 7:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
Stealing from the producers and giving to the least motivated of us will only work until the producers are bled dry.

Producers such as Goldman Sachs, and least motivated such as factory workers, for example?

By straycat74 on 7/18/2009 9:22:33 AM , Rating: 4
Glorifying the factory worker does not prove your point. Might as well glorify the janitors. You have obviously never attempted to start and run a business as your primary source of income (while not living under your parents safety net). Then you would appreciate the people that the current administration is trying to vilify.

When everyone is a worker, who writes the checks? The government? Where does the government get the money? What does the government produce?
If the government provides us with all of our needs medical-retirement-school breakfast, lunch, after school care, dinner, transportation, welfare- what will we owe them?

There is no free lunch. Read up on Lenin and Stalin. Try a book, not Wikipedia.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By LRonaldHubbs on 7/17/2009 9:20:36 PM , Rating: 4
Talking smack about my president won't get you anywhere. Obama will be the best president this nation ever had . I am already amazed at his competence. Who of all of us would even bother to try to repair the nation from the deliberate and hateful ruining that was perpetrated upon it by the posse that just left the office to go back to the saloons from whence they came? Yet Obama is stepping up to the challenge. For Mr. Obama I liken what he has received to someone buying something and receiving something totally trashed. Instead of crying or complaining, though, President Obama's integrity shows through by getting in there and valiantly starting the repair process.

Damn, why don't you just give him a blowjob while you're at it?

I don't hate the guy (though not a big fan of him either), but I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at this load of rubbish. You are honestly comparing Obama to the likes of Washington, Lincoln, or Roosevelt, and determining before he has even served his term that he will be superior? Are you actually that stupid, or are you just trolling? And your analogy is retarded, because he knew exactly what he was getting into when he ran for office. He did not waltz in expecting fair weather and a picnic, only to get food poisoning and a hurricane. Obama is not a hero, he's a not a savior, he's a politician, slimy and cooked as the lot of them.

Feel free to join us back in reality any time.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By ZoZo on 7/18/2009 7:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
History tends to glorify people, especially when these presidents are faced with challenges such as uniting people or facing civil or world wars.
Putting an economy back on track, establishing long-needed rules/regulation for capitalism, and setting up proper welfare for all, that's not easier than what the presidents you mentioned did. It's just less impressive to many.
But who knows, maybe in 200 years someone will say to another "you're honestly comparing <current president> to the likes of Obama, Lincoln or Washington?". I wouldn't see them mentioning Bush though.

By Solandri on 7/18/2009 6:15:19 PM , Rating: 5
The Presidents commonly idolized by history nearly all had one thing in common - they died before the had to deal with the messy aftermath of their policies. Lincoln was killed at the end of the Civil War. FDR died shortly before WWII ended (and WWII overshadowed most of the effects of Depression-era policies). Kennedy was killed a year after getting the U.S. through the Cuban Missile Crisis and before the impact from many of his policies became apparent.

Lincoln didn't have to deal with Reconstruction. FDR didn't have to transition the country back to a peacetime economy while dealing with the Cold War. Future Presidents had to deal with the mess in Vietnam caused by Kennedy's Sec. of Defense McNamara instituting a policy of using as little force as necessary to counter the enemy. Standard military doctrine is to apply massive, overwhelming force to end the conflict quickly, instead of allowing it to drag on for years or decades.

In other words, history looks upon these Presidents fondly because they lived long enough to take credit for the positive consequences of their policies, but died before the negative consequences could be blamed on them. About the only President who seems deserving of all the praise he gets by my reading was Washington.

IMHO Obama so far is showing he cares deeply about certain issues dear to the left, and he's been paying more than lip service to the center whose support allowed him to win. That makes him a net positive in my book. But it's becoming clear that making inspirational talks about solving difficult problems, and actually solving them are very different things. His approval ratings are falling because of this.

I will say this though. I was a registered Republican who went independent after seeing the ridiculous things the party did after 1994 (Inviting lobbyists in to write laws? C'mon!). Around 2000 I was considering registering as a Democrat. But the absolute vilification of Bush and anything he did in the last 8 years by the left convinced me I want nothing to do with that party either. If you can't see the positive aspects of someone you dislike, or the negative aspects of someone you like, then you have serious problems. Nearly all the world's conflicts stem from people like that, whether on the left or right - always blaming others for any problems and believing themselves and others like them to be completely innocent.

By MrBlastman on 7/17/2009 9:36:58 PM , Rating: 3
You've been drinking the same kool-aid as Obama I see. Like him, you are very good at spouting drivel and making promises. You predict he will be the best president we have had and you're amazed at WHAT?

The glory behind the fool who looks up to the sky while turning his head left and right mumbling crap is simple - the fools who fall for his false illusion are so awestruck by his flash that they never bother turning back on their brains to listen to what he says. I heard him speak while he was campaigning and nearly instantly could tell he was full of crap.

He's no different from all the other windbags in Congress, except that he's slightly better at pulling off a magic show to stun the audience. An audience that is made up with people like YOU.

Need proof?

It is right in your post. You are so awestruck by the man and accuse Republicans of being murderers (I know of no recent conspiracy from the white house involving murder - and don't say Iraq, you are a fool if you don't think the people are better off now than they were under Saddam. I was against the war btw, but for the completion of the invasion way back in 1991 the first time around), but, while accusing them, you forget what your grand savior's party was wrapped up in during Clinton's reign in office.

Remember Vince Foster? He was found dead in a park. Rather conveniently found dead might I add, though, there was quite a bit of evidence that he didn't get himself there on his own accord. Coincidentally it saved Clinton's behind that he... went away. Of course, you don't remember this as all that you're hearing and seeing in your head right now is noise akin to that of an AM radio having trouble tuning into a signal. Your great Obama the Savior's party could never have done anything wrong!

You sir, have all the symptoms of an Obamaton. I am sorry, well, sorry for America because there are so many walking blindly around.

It is naive and foolish to think that either the Democrats OR the Republicans will be the best for our nation. It is this blind, "there are only two parties" thinking which is messing us up. Until people realize that it is time to look outside the parties, this drivel will continue to be spilt upon the pages of our history books.

So, continue to preach your blessings of wonder upon us. Ramble you may - but - I guarantee you there are a few here who can see right through it.

By 91TTZ on 7/20/2009 9:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
You can't be serious. Way too many superlatives about a new president. Stop drinking the cool aid.

By Strandwolf on 7/18/2009 1:27:46 AM , Rating: 2
Huh? What does 9/11 have to do with it? Ah...the much-heralded box cutter defense. How much will the military-industrial scammers squander by the simple expedient of instilling fear...yet more fear. After all, the U.S. only spends more than the other 200+ nations on earth for "defense". But, it's a living...of sorts. Just not an honorable one.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By Myg on 7/18/2009 4:34:38 AM , Rating: 3
9/11 has also shown you cant go around bullying and manipulating people in the playground without creating monsters.

By MrBlastman on 7/19/2009 10:51:20 PM , Rating: 3
No, 9/11 has shown you can't ignore the monsters and let them grow big, sneak up behind you and bite you.

You have to hunt them down and kill them - take action, before they do.

By rcc on 7/20/2009 4:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
a stationary battleship

I see people on the Internet make casual references like this to battleships on a regular basis. Did they recommission a few when I wasn't looking, or is there just a general lack of knowledge about what a battleship is?

I'm guessing the latter.

By lycium on 7/18/2009 2:33:46 AM , Rating: 2
Welcome to America, stranger! *waves hat*

it's always been like that.

RE: Providing a Graduated Response is BS
By B on 7/18/2009 10:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
But can these projectile based weapons, aka "guns" meet the desires to be affixed to sharks so that we may have "frickin' sharks with frickin' guns attached to their frickin' heads"?

I suppose a mutated sea-bass would suffice.

By FPP on 7/19/2009 2:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
Nonsense. All the liberal hoo ha about cost, etc., is just another round of we-hate-guns. This technology is only going to get better every year. The real advantages of a laser is that it has a-zero-time-of-flight, has virtually no limit on ammuntion, and it is very covert. You can hit a land, or shipboard, antenna, or other object with it and the enemy just thinks his system has failed. Like most weapons, it has drawbacks but a ship has numerous other weapons to escalate to if necessary.

By monomer on 7/21/2009 12:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
Idunno, a shark with a mini-gun on its head would be pretty bad-ass.

By Lastfreethinker on 7/19/2009 4:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
Why a graduated response? Just shot to kill. If they are close they aren't there for cookies.

Freakin Awesome
By Spivonious on 7/17/2009 10:32:45 AM , Rating: 3
So we have ion drives and now laser cannons?

I can finally build my TIE fighter! \m/

RE: Freakin Awesome
By WinstonSmith on 7/17/2009 10:35:04 AM , Rating: 2
The proper acronym for this? The SSPV (Solid State Pirate Vaporizer).

RE: Freakin Awesome
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/17/2009 11:49:43 AM , Rating: 5
Yes. However, your Tie fighter will take several months to accelerate to any appreciable speed, and your lasers will just warm up the asteroids coming right at you. So have fun with that...

RE: Freakin Awesome
By ClownPuncher on 7/17/2009 11:59:09 AM , Rating: 4
Damn you, Fun Police!

RE: Freakin Awesome
By MrBlastman on 7/17/2009 12:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that just lets them show one of their best features!

The spring-loaded, ejectable wing-fins! (In memory of the wonderful 80's toy.) :)

RE: Freakin Awesome
By Spivonious on 7/20/2009 3:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Cool Star War Technology
By SpaceJumper on 7/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Cool Star War Technology
By callmeroy on 7/17/2009 10:27:49 AM , Rating: 3
If by soon you mean over the next 50-75 years...yeah....maybe....

RE: Cool Star War Technology
By HostileEffect on 7/17/2009 10:36:52 AM , Rating: 3
Pew Pew!
By WoWCow on 7/17/2009 10:38:43 AM , Rating: 2
I can certainly see uses of those damn lasers taking down missiles far much more effective than any missile defense currently in service, if it has the power to go far enough (laser travels at the speed of light).

And all these damn laser talks are reminding me of Freespace 2! A giant beam cannon slashing across another ship and blowing it up!

Except, with such advance weaponry applied on earth, I wonder if any of us will actually live in space without killing each other first.

RE: Pew Pew!
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Pew Pew!
By ClownPuncher on 7/17/2009 12:16:25 PM , Rating: 3
Not even the musings of internet dorks can make you smile, it's a sad day.

RE: Pew Pew!
By Amiga500 on 7/17/2009 1:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
You've the right general idea, perhaps with the wrong specific area.

This has enourmous potential to replace the Phalanx CIWS, and migrate to full AEGIS support replacing the standard (SM) missile.

Very cool
By JosefTor on 7/17/2009 10:56:30 AM , Rating: 2
This is a much needed technology for the ships in the gulf and congress should do everything they can to fasttrack it. I was in the gulf on an aircraft carrier and Iran would frequently taunt us with various methods that we would have absolutely no defense for (our 50 cals suck and the people shooting them were even worse). They sent like 50 jet skiers with rockets and just swarmed our ships.

RE: Very cool
By chmilz on 7/17/2009 11:28:24 AM , Rating: 3
No problem a couple tactical nukes wouldn't solve, IMHO...

Future tour guide: And on your left, is the crater that used to be Iran before the entire civilized world decided those whack-jobs needed to be Fed-Ex'd to Ala, group-rate style.

Tour patrons: Ooooooooooh.

RE: Very cool
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/17/2009 11:32:41 AM , Rating: 1
Not so much a crater as a sheet of glass.

By 457R4LDR34DKN07 on 7/17/2009 3:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
No Real Genius references?

RE: What
By kyleb2112 on 7/18/2009 3:54:38 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, my first thought was: Will it pop popcorn?

RE: What
By johnsonx on 7/18/2009 9:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
all used up on the last article about a laser

What's that smell?
By MrBlastman on 7/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: What's that smell?
By PAPutzback on 7/17/2009 11:07:45 AM , Rating: 1
You are a ri-tard Mr Alan Garner.

RE: What's that smell?
By kattanna on 7/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: What's that smell?
By AEvangel on 7/17/2009 2:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
That was worth the read and dead on....nice the starving oppressed people are getting uppity again story for the whole family.

Epic Title
By deltadeltadelta on 7/17/2009 10:53:09 AM , Rating: 3
THAT is awesome title--I don't care who you are. As soon as you see it, you know you want to read it.

Ship Laser
By btc909 on 7/17/2009 1:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
If whoever doesn't get the point about the green warning (doesn't green represent go, but anyway) then let them cook.

One simple request
By zsdersw on 7/17/2009 1:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have one simple request.. and that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

Alternative to "graduated response"
By Azsen on 7/20/2009 2:20:44 AM , Rating: 2
Radar tech: "Sir, we have incoming speed boats on radar."
Commander: "Set the fleet on condition RED."
Commander: "Fire at will!"

You're kidding, right? Right??
By Dorkyman on 7/22/2009 12:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
Messiah is a nice-looking, smooth-talking guy. A friendly guy, one who'd be fun to have a beer with.

But a guy who makes vacuous speeches with no substance. A guy who never ran a business. A guy who spent years steeped in the hatred spewed by his minister, while absorbing socialist BS from close friends.

I am utterly astonished that he was elected. My friends who voted for him did so largely because he was black man, and they thought it was super-cool to have a black man in the White House.

His downfall might turn out to be something that he's trying hard to hide; something on his birth certificate, or on his college transcripts. He's working hard trying to keep all this stuff secret. Eventually, someone will talk.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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