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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 10/30/2006 12:49:33 PM EST




U.S. Air Force Debuts Laser-Weapon Aircraft

Monday , October 30, 2006

WICHITA, Kan. — The U.S. Missile Defense Agency rolled out an airborne laser aircraft on Friday, the latest development in a missile-defense system that was once ridiculed as a "Star Wars" fantasy.

In a ceremony at the Boeing Co.'s (BA) Integrated Defense Systems facility in Wichita, the agency announced it was ready to flight test some of the low-power systems on the ABL aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-400F designed to destroy enemy missiles.

Lt. Gen. Henry "Trey" Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said he embraced early critics' comparison of the laser-equipped plane to the "Star Wars" movies.

"I believe we are building the forces of good to beat the forces of evil. ... We are taking a major step in giving the American people their first light saber," Obering told dignitaries and employees gathered for the ceremony.

The laser weapon's system is designed to detect, track and destroy ballistic missiles in their boost flight phase.

It will likely be 2008 before the program is ready to fire at a missile in flight, and it wouldn't be operational until the middle or late part of the decade, he said.

"This is not the prettiest aircraft I have seen," Obering said. "It is not supposed to be pretty. It is supposed to be mean."



ABL



It's a big frikkin LASER!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 12:58:20 PM EST
Fucking awesome.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:03:44 PM EST
Finally. A real life composite beam pinpoint laser turret.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:05:17 PM EST
The begining is missile defense, but think of the possibilities for 'basic' anti-aircraft use. A single ABL at 70,000 feet flying a figure 8 orbit could knock down fighters with impunity. Being on top of the gravity well is the best place to fight from.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:06:17 PM EST
I already got mine! MSFS version: www.precisionmanuals.com/html/747400F.htm

Not cheap either.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:06:23 PM EST
Rad
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:10:03 PM EST
Awesome. We get all the best stuff.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:12:28 PM EST
Who would have guessed that a B747 could look positively badass? They always looked good, but that one looks mean.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:13:31 PM EST
It should be called the Shark, of course.


It's got a big fricking laser on its head!


CJ
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:14:18 PM EST
ALL YOUR LASER ARE BELONG TO US YOU RONERY RITTRE MAN!!!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:17:29 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:18:43 PM EST
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.


Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:21:13 PM EST
Needs to carry a shark in the bomb bay.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:22:41 PM EST
Soooo, since the ABL is theoretically supposed to have enough power to destroy a ballistic missile at 150-200 miles, how hard would it be to rotate that turret just a little further skyward? I'd say anybody owning a satellite we didn't like will be pissed if the SHTF and we have one of those flying around blasting the shit out of everybody's $200M+ birds.

Notice how many miles thick the atmosphere is:



I can't even begin to imagine the applications once the technology really matures. They have already devised ways to recycle the chemicals used in the reaction.

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:26:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By ED_P:
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.




This is pretty much where many land based systems are at today even with ballistic weapons, if you can see it, its dead. So most future sytems are being designed to be hard to see, "stealth tanks" etc.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:31:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Harlikwin:

Originally Posted By ED_P:
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.




This is pretty much where many land based systems are at today even with ballistic weapons, if you can see it, its dead. So most future sytems are being designed to be hard to see, "stealth tanks" etc.


I wonder how the laser affects different materials it hits. Would a ceramic layer similar to the Space Shuttle tiles provide any protection? What about a high quality mirror?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:35:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tolip:

Originally Posted By Harlikwin:

Originally Posted By ED_P:
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.




This is pretty much where many land based systems are at today even with ballistic weapons, if you can see it, its dead. So most future sytems are being designed to be hard to see, "stealth tanks" etc.


I wonder how the laser affects different materials it hits. Would a ceramic layer similar to the Space Shuttle tiles provide any protection? What about a high quality mirror?


Yes and yes. Both are also nearly impossible to maintain, and definitely impossible in a combat situation. Future armor will probably just incorporate a very highly insulative value like polystyrene along with the ceramics and other materials. It will never really be a great tool against ground targets, but aircraft, spacecraft, and missles are harder to "armor" against the threat.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:42:29 PM EST
Very cool!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:50:59 PM EST


We should have something like this to flash at Chinese ground-based "lasers" or orbiting satellites.

How long until we have one based in the Pacific Rim to deal with Korea and Chinana?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:58:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
The begining is missile defense, but think of the possibilities for 'basic' anti-aircraft use. A single ABL at 70,000 feet flying a figure 8 orbit could knock down fighters with impunity. Being on top of the gravity well is the best place to fight from.

Not the beginning. Aegis BMD is the beginning. GBI is the middle. Really, the USAF is getting in near the end.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:03:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 2:05:05 PM EST by TIMMAH]

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
The begining is missile defense, but think of the possibilities for 'basic' anti-aircraft use. A single ABL at 70,000 feet flying a figure 8 orbit could knock down fighters with impunity. Being on top of the gravity well is the best place to fight from.

Not the beginning. Aegis BMD is the beginning. GBI is the middle. Really, the USAF is getting in near the end.


Yes, but chemical lasers based on giant 747's could be just the beginning. Think of the possibilities of a solid state laser put into orbit.

Link Posted: 10/31/2006 7:02:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By Tolip:

Originally Posted By Harlikwin:

Originally Posted By ED_P:
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.




This is pretty much where many land based systems are at today even with ballistic weapons, if you can see it, its dead. So most future sytems are being designed to be hard to see, "stealth tanks" etc.


I wonder how the laser affects different materials it hits. Would a ceramic layer similar to the Space Shuttle tiles provide any protection? What about a high quality mirror?


Yes to both, and as the other guy mentioned maintaining it in the field would suck. In reality the game will mainly goto the guy with the better sensors and stealth tech (much like the submarine game) he who gets detected first gets killed, regardless of any passive protection. As for HEL's (high energy lasers) on ground vehicles I think that day is still far in the future, they are still nowhere near compact/rugged enough for such use, plus the power requirements are insane. More likely we will see some sort of high velocity railguns first, or ElectroThermalChemical type guns.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 7:10:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Tolip:

Originally Posted By Harlikwin:

Originally Posted By ED_P:
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.




This is pretty much where many land based systems are at today even with ballistic weapons, if you can see it, its dead. So most future sytems are being designed to be hard to see, "stealth tanks" etc.


I wonder how the laser affects different materials it hits. Would a ceramic layer similar to the Space Shuttle tiles provide any protection? What about a high quality mirror?


Yes and yes. Both are also nearly impossible to maintain, and definitely impossible in a combat situation. Future armor will probably just incorporate a very highly insulative value like polystyrene along with the ceramics and other materials. It will never really be a great tool against ground targets, but aircraft, spacecraft, and missles are harder to "armor" against the threat.


It'll work great on exposed light infantry. Is it me Akmed or is it hot out here?
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 7:17:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Tolip:

Originally Posted By Harlikwin:

Originally Posted By ED_P:
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.






This is pretty much where many land based systems are at today even with ballistic weapons, if you can see it, its dead. So most future sytems are being designed to be hard to see, "stealth tanks" etc.


I wonder how the laser affects different materials it hits. Would a ceramic layer similar to the Space Shuttle tiles provide any protection? What about a high quality mirror?


Yes and yes. Both are also nearly impossible to maintain, and definitely impossible in a combat situation. Future armor will probably just incorporate a very highly insulative value like polystyrene along with the ceramics and other materials. It will never really be a great tool against ground targets, but aircraft, spacecraft, and missles are harder to "armor" against the threat.


It'll work great on exposed light infantry. Is it me Akmed or is it hot out here?


As a bonus, when you use it against infantry, after you roast the first guy, all his buddies will have the standard infantry reaction to incoming fire and throw themselves prone on the ground. Since the laser is airborne, they just increased their target area.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 7:25:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By tweeter:
i19.photobucket.com/albums/b196/smartb0mb/DoctorEvilcopy.jpg

We should have something like this to flash at Chinese ground-based "lasers" or orbiting satellites.

How long until we have one based in the Pacific Rim to deal with Korea and Chinana?


This one will be called the "P'yongyang Persuader."
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 8:23:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By ED_P:
All grossness aside- I wonder what it would do to a human. I imagine a person would blow up from their bodily fluids being turned from liquid to a vapor state very quickly.

Someday when lasers are small enough to be boiled down to a vehicle mounted weapon, sniping or AA would have no issues with wind or bullet drop, if you can see a target optically, you can hit it.




Smoke will see a LOT more use on the battlefield when lasers become prevelent. Soldiers will be encased in full body armor and NBC gear with temperature regulation, smoke grenades will be popped on a regular basis to disrupt LOS and scatter the laser, tanks and APC's will have smoke generators to make screens to defend against aircraft using lasers, etc. Maybe even a layer of coolant under the armor or super-conducting material.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 8:41:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:


Smoke will see a LOT more use on the battlefield when lasers become prevelent. Soldiers will be encased in full body armor and NBC gear with temperature regulation, smoke grenades will be popped on a regular basis to disrupt LOS and scatter the laser, tanks and APC's will have smoke generators to make screens to defend against aircraft using lasers, etc. Maybe even a layer of coolant under the armor or super-conducting material.


Is this the new future warrior?!?

Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:03:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By LOW2000:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:


Smoke will see a LOT more use on the battlefield when lasers become prevelent. Soldiers will be encased in full body armor and NBC gear with temperature regulation, smoke grenades will be popped on a regular basis to disrupt LOS and scatter the laser, tanks and APC's will have smoke generators to make screens to defend against aircraft using lasers, etc. Maybe even a layer of coolant under the armor or super-conducting material.


Is this the new future warrior?!?

www.productionillustration.com/images/brfrgn.ph.gif


I just realized that costume has really huge nipples on it.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:08:09 PM EST
Time to locate Osama and Hugo Chavez
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:15:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Swindle1984: Smoke will see a LOT more use on the battlefield when lasers become prevelent. Soldiers will be encased in full body armor and NBC gear with temperature regulation, smoke grenades will be popped on a regular basis to disrupt LOS and scatter the laser, tanks and APC's will have smoke generators to make screens to defend against aircraft using lasers, etc. Maybe even a layer of coolant under the armor or super-conducting material.
Smoke won't even slow down the main beam. But the illuminating lasers might have a problem "locking on" to a target behind a smokescreen. So the USAF will just have to mount one of those fancy sensor turrets on the ABL so it can shoot surface targets.

It would make a nice suppression weapon that knocks out radars, radio antennas, fuel/ammo dumps, missile lanchers, "important" enemy personnel, key vehicles and so on from high up in the sky.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:23:47 PM EST
The problem with ground targets is 'how do you hit it'?

The sensors available to that aircraft at operating range and altitude won't lock on to most ground targets....

So shooting OBL is out of the question...

Second, you need to shoot something that will cause a secondary explosion (fuel, ammo, etc), as the laser does no splash-damage. The reason it works on missiles is that it's supposed to ignite the fuel & make the missile blow itself up....

It would make a great 'escort' for an AWACS or J-STARS, though....
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:44:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
The problem with ground targets is 'how do you hit it'?

The sensors available to that aircraft at operating range and altitude won't lock on to most ground targets....

So shooting OBL is out of the question...

Second, you need to shoot something that will cause a secondary explosion (fuel, ammo, etc), as the laser does no splash-damage. The reason it works on missiles is that it's supposed to ignite the fuel & make the missile blow itself up....

It would make a great 'escort' for an AWACS or J-STARS, though....


You don't have to blow up OBL, you just have to cook him.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 11:40:09 PM EST
If they are telling *YOU* about this great new weapons system, it's been operational for a loooong time, and something better is already in use......
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 11:48:09 PM EST
"And from now on stop playing with yourself!"
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:05:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By JoseyWales:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
The problem with ground targets is 'how do you hit it'?

The sensors available to that aircraft at operating range and altitude won't lock on to most ground targets....

So shooting OBL is out of the question...

Second, you need to shoot something that will cause a secondary explosion (fuel, ammo, etc), as the laser does no splash-damage. The reason it works on missiles is that it's supposed to ignite the fuel & make the missile blow itself up....

It would make a great 'escort' for an AWACS or J-STARS, though....


You don't have to blow up OBL, you just have to cook him.


But you need to get a lock first...

And a person on the ground is going to be too small to lock up....

Now, if you got him to do a 'Dr Strangelove' and ride an ICBM, then go at it...
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:15:01 AM EST
I wonder if they tested it on a giant Jiffy-Pop pan??

Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:20:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By swingset:
I wonder if they tested it on a giant Jiffy-Pop pan??

www.moviezilla.org/images/movies/rg3.jpg


Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks of that movie whenever I hear about this project.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:24:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 12:25:17 AM EST by -RotorDemon-]
I think it needs some missiles and crap attached to the wings, bomb bays, manned turrets..

We need another "B-17"
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:38:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By -RotorDemon-:
I think it needs some missiles and crap attached to the wings, bomb bays, manned turrets..

We need another "B-17"


The B-17 didn't do it's self-protecting job very well...

Ergo P-51D...

One of the first things 'figured out' after WWII was that turrets on bombers don't help enough to justify the weight....
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:46:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 12:47:56 AM EST by OLY-M4gery]

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By -RotorDemon-:
I think it needs some missiles and crap attached to the wings, bomb bays, manned turrets..

We need another "B-17"


The B-17 didn't do it's self-protecting job very well...

Ergo P-51D...

One of the first things 'figured out' after WWII was that turrets on bombers don't help enough to justify the weight....


Ummm, no.

Given the weapons of WW-II our planes did much better than Japanese, British, or German planes that had very few defensive weapons.

As with a lot of things the best way to defend against a weapon, tank, fighter, etc. is another weapon of the same type.

The change in weaponry, A-A missiles, with their signifigant range advantage over MG/cannons is what made defensive guns on bombers obsolete.

Not to mention the increased speeds of jet fighters making a gun shot on a closing jet much more difficult than a prop plane.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 2:19:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
The problem with ground targets is 'how do you hit it'?

The sensors available to that aircraft at operating range and altitude won't lock on to most ground targets....So shooting OBL is out of the question...

Second, you need to shoot something that will cause a secondary explosion (fuel, ammo, etc), as the laser does no splash-damage. The reason it works on missiles is that it's supposed to ignite the fuel & make the missile blow itself up....

It would make a great 'escort' for an AWACS or J-STARS, though....


Heh. The ABL has some very impressive thermal imaging sensors (absolute state of the art) and adaptive optics that allow it to track very small, very distant targets moving at a high rate of speed accurately. It doesn't burn through the outer skin of a TBM or ICBM by hitting it for a millisecond, it actually has to track it for a bit. Think about it, hitting a 2'X2' target at 100+ miles while it is moving at several hundred (if not thousand) MPH with a laser and holding it on the target for several seconds. All the while you are moving and maneuvering as well. It's not quite as easy as it sounds. The ABL would be very usable against any ground targets, but it only carries enough fuel for a limited number of shots and costs too much to waste on those types of targets. Maybe in the future the AC-17 will have a nice fat turreted laser that will smoke ground pounders.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 5:14:22 PM EST
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