Science fiction becomes reality - Macleans.ca
 

Science fiction becomes reality

U.S. successfully deploys airborne laser weapon


 

The U.S. military has leapt into the future with the successful test of a new anti-missile device‹a high-powered laser weapon designed to shoot down ballistic missiles during ‘boost phase’‹the initial motor-powered phase of acceleration. The futuristic weapon’s “airframe” is a modified 747 jumbo jet, built by Boeing Co., which houses a high-energy laser that can (hold your breath, Trekkies) “attack multiple targets at the speed of light, at a range of hundreds of kilometers (miles), and at a low cost per intercept attempt compared to current technologies,” says the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The weapon uses infrared sensors and was first tested at Edwards Air Force Base, California in August.

Reuters


 
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Science fiction becomes reality

  1. very cool – next thing you one momnet Iranian reactor in a desert field … then .. the next moment ZAP! – some mullah running around in crircles .. but but but …

    • It doesn't work on reactors, only on missiles in flight. They have a fairly fragile outer shell that you can burn through, leading to the missile fragmenting.

    • It doesn't work on reactors, only on missiles in flight. They have a fairly fragile outer shell that you can burn through, leading to the missile fragmenting.

  2. What could possibly go wrong with a paranoid declining superpower with a history of false flag operations, preemptive war and interests in every country having a frickin' death ray?

    None I can think of.

    • better that the techonolgy in the hands of the good guys

      • Good guys my posterior. The only power in history to deploy atomic bombs on purely civilian populations as well as countless preemptive wars and regime changes.

        • and now people like you are free to type whatever they want on the internet, america rescued europe twice last century from the germans…and using nuclear weapons saved countelss millions .you may have skipped history class where they talked of how the japanese bombed pearl harbor first

          • "The Japanese Government are ready to accept the terms enumerated in the joint declaration which was issued at Potsdam on July 26th, 1945, by the heads of the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, and China, and later subscribed to by the Soviet Government, with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler.

            PROCLAMATION DEFINING TERMS FOR JAPANESE SURRENDER, (2) OFFER OF SURRENDER FROM JAPANESE GOVERNMENT, The Department of State Bulletin, Vol. XIII, No. 318, July 29, 1945

            Unlike Trueman , Eisenhower is vindicated by history. Indeed, as Eisenhower made clear: Japan sought terms which changed not a bit by the the use of the bomb

            Therefore, the U.S. use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction upon a civilian population changed absolutely nothing!

            The real reason for this genocide was to send a message to the Soviets.

            Also the bombing Pearl Harbour sounds allot like the Bush Doctrine. Do not ask Sarah Palin to explain it.

    • The Russians have been working on airborne infra-red laser weapons since the late 1970s. The Chinese are working on them. The Indians are working on them. The Iranians are working on them. What could possibly go wrong with Russia, China, India, and Iran having a frickin' death ray?

  3. That is wicked cool. I'm guessing adaptive mirrors to compensate for dispersion.

    Two things I'd like to know though:
    (1) What shape is the mode? For high power like this you can't use semi-transparent mirrors in the beam path, so you have to use a leaky cavity. Usually that leads to doughnut-shaped modes that miss the target competely by ringing around it.
    (2) How long does it take to burn through the missile's outer frame? Even at MW powers this usually takes seconds to minutes on target, which seriously limits you when engaging multiple targets simultaneously.

    Very, very interesting. It's a crying shame Canada pulled out of this project.

  4. I was under the impression that there was treaties against the weaponization of space.

    • A 747 cann't fly in space.

    • That treaty bans weapons of mass destruction in earth orbit and on celestial bodies. Canada is free to deploy conventional weapons in space.

  5. about time…must have been a nightmare keeping this under wraps…gosh jeepers kristupher!

  6. interesting how they through in that they can knock em out cheaper than conventional weapons…the us military recognizes cost savings hee hee

    • not to mention collateral damage savings. now, instead of killing terrorists with missiles and bombs, which can cause civilian casualties, now all it takes is a few clicks of a button, and that group of Taliban fighters crumble into small piles of ash, before anyone knows what just happened.

  7. The development of these systems and technologies could fundamentally change our world.
    Right now the US is playing a game in which it is pointing a gun at everyone and everyone is pointing a gun back at them. The americans happen to have more guns, bigger guns and faster guns but all parties involved are capable of killing everyone else. Thus a stand off in which no one fires and no one moves.
    Future versions of this technology will amount to giving the americans bullet proof armour. When that happens, the stand off ends.

    • maybe the world can be made more safe through more trade and more integration of economies . .. look at europe now …so many of the countries were sworn enemies and now they would never fight each other …best example england/france/germany/italy …and the usa wouldn't have a war with china ..that is who makes all their consumer products ..meanwhile in china the usa is responsible for millions of jobs