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Laser warfare is upon us now.

BenDibble Nov 14, 2014

  1. BenDibble

    BenDibble Resident Mortician JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Was reading an interesting article about "The US Navy's 5 Most Lethal Weapons of War" and they talked a little about the LaWS mounted on the USS Ponce.

    USS Ponce:

    It may seem strange for an aging amphibious transport dock to be on this list, and indeed a week ago it would not have made the cut The 43-year-old USS Ponce, launched in July 1971, served for years as a transport for U.S. Marines. Now it’s an Afloat Forward Staging Base, and the first ship in the US Navy operationally armed with a laser weapon.

    Wednesday, the U.S. Navy revealed that the Laser Weapon System, or LaWS is now an operational weapons system. The laser system is cleared to be fired in combat.

    The laser system is designed to target unmanned aerial vehicles, slow moving helicopters, and fast patrol craft. In a video released by the Navy on YouTube, the laser detonates a RPG-7 anti-tank rocket, burned out the engine of a small boat, and shot down a small unmanned aerial vehicle. The process appears to take a fraction of a second.

    The U.S. Navy claims that, per the Geneva Convention the laser will not be used to target individual humans. It’s safe to say, however, that detonating explosive devices, fuel, or causing catastrophic damage to a vehicle could have lethal consequences for the crew.

    No details exist on the range of the LaWS, or how many shots it can fire in an engagement. The laser light does not appear visible to the naked eye. The system appears to be aimed by a shipboard operator using a modified video game controller.

    In a world of high cost weapons systems, one of the most remarkable things about LaWS is the cost. LaWS costs only 69 cents per shot, with apparently only one shot needed to disable a small boat. The Griffin missile, which the U.S. Navy had also considered using against small boats, costs $99,000 each. RAM, the point defense system that might otherwise engage UAVs, costs well over $250,000 per missile. LaWS even compares favorably with the 20mm cannon round fired by the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System. While we don’t know how much the entire LaWS system actually costs, these per shot numbers are encouraging.

    LaWS is a 30 kilowatt laser system. The U.S. Navy plans to test more powerful 100 to 150 kilowatt systems within the next two years.



    As to your question, BlindFalcon, I don't think that "overshooting" is too much of a risk. Most likely this weapon is a highly focused multi-beam, and anything beyond the exact focus point, will not be at the same risk. The same principal which allows unfocused laser light to pass through the vitreous humor of your eye and only etch the retina at the back.

    Even though some has posted the video earlier, here is an actual embedded version of the latest test.

    [YOUTUBEHD]sbjXXRfwrHg[/YOUTUBEHD]
    Published on Dec 9, 2014
    Laser Weapon System (LaWS) Operational demonstration aboard USS Ponce (AFS(I) 15). (U.S. Navy video/Released)
     
  2. Rhonda

    Rhonda knife diva Lady Devil Brigade Member

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    How much $$$$$$$$ have they got invested in this? Multi Billions?

    But you know, if they are releasing this to the public, no telling what the Black Ops Guys have in Their Arsenal.

    Their Stuff is what would Really Blow Our Minds, no doubt!! :thumbsup:
     
  3. BenDibble

    BenDibble Resident Mortician JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Two things:

    1. Investment is just that, investing in the future. Regardless of the weapon development, there are millions of dollars spent. But, with traditional weapon systems, each projectile is itself incredibly expensive. As for this new system, each "shot" is less than a dollar's worth. This seems to me to be an incredibly smart investment. Of course there are still many hurdles to overcome and much more money to be spent, but I feel this is a very near reality. No more concern about storing dangerous missiles and explosives to defend a ship. All you need is a power source (large ship engine).

    2. There has always been a running theory of "Black Ops" people having such advanced weaponry at their disposal. Some of this is founded on truth (Bin Laden raid stealth blackhawk?), but a lot of what gets those soldiers through the day is serious training and an incredible understanding of what they do have in their arsenals. I can imagine where the truly advanced items come through is in technological items such as night vision devices, comms gear, etc... But having any laser weaponry in the hands of an individual soldier is completely impractical and way way way too far out into the future.
     
  4. kayakjax

    kayakjax Deep & Wide Brigade Member

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    Will you take paypal gift?
     
  5. AradOnRadar

    AradOnRadar Huge member

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    it appears to only be effective if the boat you are engaging has dynamite or some other highly combustible material you could aim the laser at easily.

    ....unimpressed.

     
  6. Rhonda

    Rhonda knife diva Lady Devil Brigade Member

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    Let's update this a little bit.

    Our Navy is planning to take over Olympic National Forest with the goal of playing electromagnetic war. I mean, how cool is that? :devilzeek

    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-n...f/2014/09/navy_wants_to_conduct_war_game.html

    Officials hope to begin the war games next year in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties. The exercises would be conducted at 12 sites in the Olympic National Forest and three sites on state Department of Natural Resources land. The proposal would be part of the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range and would involve aircraft from the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/...fare-training-would-harm-humans-and-wildlife#

    ...this would entail flying 36 jets down to 1,200 feet above ground in some areas, in 2,900 training exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day, 260 days per year, with the war-gaming going on indefinitely into the future. The Navy's plans also include having 15 mobile units on the ground with towers emitting electromagnetic radiation signals for the planes to locate as part of their exercises...

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/washington/2239194-navy-plans-electromagnetic-war-games-coastal.html

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/888/...und-the-navys-jets/?taf_id=13355593&cid=fb_na

    http://olyopen.com/2014/09/26/for-w...magnetic-radiation-equipment-on-west-end-pdn/

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024799865_electronicwarfarexml.html

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/11/21/18764426.php
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2015
  7. falcon125

    falcon125 the express train to mayhem Brigade Member

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    Dynamite is not highly combustible.:devilcorn:
     
  8. BenDibble

    BenDibble Resident Mortician JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    are we now going to start a debate between detonation and deflagration?

    I'd love to stick around for that bomb.
     
  9. Rhonda

    Rhonda knife diva Lady Devil Brigade Member

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    Oh wow. I had to look that up, and in doing so saw where deflagration can transition to detonation.

    Is quite timely, since I'm currently reading Dr. Farrell's - The Cosmic War -, and am at his discussion of plasmas and the Thunderbolt theory of the electric universe, and how the big bang never happened. Moving into scalar and vector, Bearden, et al, and how Maxwell's theory was shit on when they changed it from quanternions to vectors.

    Thanks for this extra tidbit! :devilcorn:
     
  10. AradOnRadar

    AradOnRadar Huge member

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    Same sentence stands true... :ross:
     
  11. Komitadjie

    Komitadjie Jay to the Dee, Y'All!

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    I want a mirror array. Forget generating your own energy, just borrow some from that massive, unshielded fusion reactor we have next door!
     

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