KABOOM! Navy Gets A Laser Gun, Starts Blowing Things Up

Vigormortis

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octafish said:
The commander wants them alive. Set your weapons to dazzle.
Here's hoping Edgar Wright does end up being the man they call to direct the next Star Trek film. Because you just know he'll work that in there somehow.
 

Spartan448

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My questions are this: What is the weapon's effective range and how long must it be focused on a target to destroy it? If it does not share the same range and kill potential as conventional munitions, this has been a colossal waste of time and resources.
 

crimson5pheonix

It took 6 months to read my title.
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Spartan448 said:
My questions are this: What is the weapon's effective range and how long must it be focused on a target to destroy it? If it does not share the same range and kill potential as conventional munitions, this has been a colossal waste of time and resources.
An accurate summary of the modern military in general.
 

Spartan448

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crimson5pheonix said:
Spartan448 said:
My questions are this: What is the weapon's effective range and how long must it be focused on a target to destroy it? If it does not share the same range and kill potential as conventional munitions, this has been a colossal waste of time and resources.
An accurate summary of the modern military in general.
Hey, this is the American military we're talking about here. And in the American military, there's a difference between a colossal waste of time and resources, and dropping all the bombs currently at base on one random dude in the middle of the desert with an RPG to see what the explosion would look like.

Man, I love the B-1.
 

luvd1

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So you think you have escaped my grasp? Oh no my foolish friend. Power up the DOOM RAY!!!
 

Jingle Fett

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This is pretty awesome, even if it was a little anticlimatic. But then again real lasers don't work the way they do in Star Wars where it behaves more like a projectile...Still, it's pretty sick :D

'Merica, fuck yeah!
 

P-89 Scorpion

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Dalisclock said:
While this is cool, I have to question the range on that. Yeah, it's cheaper then a missile, but a missile can fly for a hundred miles or more to a target.

Not to mention the need for better/larger power plants for better lasers. Yeah, it's cool, but right now the navy is seriously worried about keeping it's ships and aircraft from breaking, due to budgets being cut at the same time it's being asked to do more.

This Laser is being tested to hopefully replace Phalanx (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS) which has a range of less than 4KM and supplement the RIM-116 RAM missile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-116_Rolling_Airframe_Missile) which has a range of 9KM. This is a point defence weapon only it's the rail gun that with guided ammunition may be able to replace a number of missiles with a lower per shot cost due to a combination of no need for propellant and explosive.
 

xxobot

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Zhukov said:
There's no visible "projectile".

It doesn't make a noise.

I want my money back.
I reckon it'd be brilliant on a stealth boat.


Jingle Fett said:
This is pretty awesome, even if it was a little anticlimatic. But then again real lasers don't work the way they do in Star Wars where it behaves more like a projectile...Still, it's pretty sick :D
You are quite likely referring to the star wars 'blasters' rather than lasers.

'Blasters were a considerable improvement over the archaic laser design. Instead of a coherent beam of light, the blaster fired a compressed, focused, high-energy particle-beam that was very destructive, commonly referred to as a "bolt."' (Source: wookipedia)

Anyway, the implication is that many weapons in the star wars universe are plasma plasma based. There's even evidence that the light-saber could be a plasma sword of sorts.
 

Flammablezeus

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Is a game controller really the most effective means of controlling these things? There must be some precision pointing device that's compatible with computers. If only I could think of one!
 

Fasckira

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Fitting an incredibly deadly weapon to a bad-ass ship, populated by highly trained personnel.

Namer of that ship? Ponce.

Well played.
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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When it's set to 'dazzle', the ship looks like this:

On the other hand, when it's set to 'kill', it looks like this:
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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These weapons seem far less effective than conventional surface-to-suface and surface-to-air missile systems. Can't go past kinetic and chemical energy when you want to make sure things sink or disappear in a cloud of smoke. Not only that but you can lauch multiple missiles from a single battery, in rapid succession, against multiple targets, in multiple directions.

Flammablezeus said:
Is a game controller really the most effective means of controlling these things? There must be some precision pointing device that's compatible with computers. If only I could think of one!
You can finally put those years of console gaming on your resume when you sign up to the Navy.

That being said, I don't see why they wouldn't be using a tablet-like device. You know ... highlight firing arcs for effective field suppression on beach heads, touch-based target acquisition. Instant zoom in & out. And, you know ... the fact that it's portable. Bit of a bonus I would think.
 

Albino Boo

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Dalisclock said:
While this is cool, I have to question the range on that. Yeah, it's cheaper then a missile, but a missile can fly for a hundred miles or more to a target.

Not to mention the need for better/larger power plants for better lasers. Yeah, it's cool, but right now the navy is seriously worried about keeping it's ships and aircraft from breaking, due to budgets being cut at the same time it's being asked to do more.
Spartan448 said:
My questions are this: What is the weapon's effective range and how long must it be focused on a target to destroy it? If it does not share the same range and kill potential as conventional munitions, this has been a colossal waste of time and resources.

Modern naval air defences are layered. There are long range missiles that can hit targets up to 100 miles away, but those are carried on fleet air defence ships. Ships with other roles don't carry such long range missiles and the prue ASW ships only have missiles with 10 mile ranges. All ships now carry point defence guns with ranges of less than a mile. So its not a replacement for fleet air defence but a replacement for the point defences. Power isn't an issue, most warships ships are driven by combined diesel and gas turbine engines, they just run the diesel at higher rpms when needed. The damage is done in very short period of time. Its something like 50kw in 0.1 of second and at ranges of less than a mile.
 

KoudelkaMorgan

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Now we just have to pray that the enemy doesn't know about tactical mirror technology...

I doubt it is really as simple as turning your assets into disco balls in order to avoid lasers, but I just picture the mirror men from the Lightbringer series and laugh.
 

Fox12

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Spartan448 said:
My questions are this: What is the weapon's effective range and how long must it be focused on a target to destroy it? If it does not share the same range and kill potential as conventional munitions, this has been a colossal waste of time and resources.
Not necessarily. It has its uses. Imagine destroying a target from over a mile away with an invisible projectile, and the enemy doesn't know when or where it came from. If nothing else, there's a psychological aspect to consider. It may not have long range now, but that's why we're still using classic municians. In the long run its more cost effective, even if the uses are currently limited. Bare in mind that early fire arms had limited but effective use as well, and that they only gradually replaced bows and melee weapons.
 

Sidmen

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In the full article I read a bit ago, they claimed that the weapon's effective range was out to the horizon, and that it took less than a tenth of a second to destroy a target, potentially allowing it to target and destroy dozens of targets in less than a second.
 

Albino Boo

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Sidmen said:
In the full article I read a bit ago, they claimed that the weapon's effective range was out to the horizon, and that it took less than a tenth of a second to destroy a target, potentially allowing it to target and destroy dozens of targets in less than a second.
Different systems. This is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_Weapon_System the other is much more powerful free electron laser devopled by Rython. The Laws system is a replacement for the phalanx point defense weapon for use on current ships. The other is replacement for the standard sam system for fleet defence on the next generation of guided missile cruisers.
 

maninahat

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Fasckira said:
Fitting an incredibly deadly weapon to a bad-ass ship, populated by highly trained personnel.

Namer of that ship? Ponce.

Well played.
Saw that name and immediately thought of this relevant scene:

 

-Dragmire-

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Flammablezeus said:
Is a game controller really the most effective means of controlling these things? There must be some precision pointing device that's compatible with computers. If only I could think of one!
I don't imagine that the physical machinery can pivot and tilt at the speed that people associate with a mouse cursor. Imagine trying to aim by repeatedly panning in a particular direction because a single hand movement doesn't match the machines ability to reach where you're trying to aim. Twin sticks or a controller do fine since you hold the input down until it's aimed properly.