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

SmugFrog

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Sep 4, 2008
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-Dragmire- said:
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.
The largest of those gun turrets can move disturbingly fast. Watching a CIWS suddenly come to life and look in a direction just looks unreal. I imagine with an air threat this thing could be queued by the air defense radar and within a second be looking in that direction.
 

Areloch

It's that one guy
Dec 10, 2012
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As others have said, this isn't designed as an offensive weapon, but for point defense.

It's likely designed to replace the Phalanx, which is this thing:


It fires 20mm rounds at 4,500 rounds per minute and each of those is pretty expensive. The reason it fires so many bullets is because it's difficult to calculate the ballistics of a projectile to hit another projectile a few miles out, so they opt for additional volume to improve the chances. This means dropping a single inbound missile or drone is incredibly expensive.

Compared to a weapon that likely requires less consistent maintenance(you have to constantly do system and mechanical checks to ensure no feed or fire failures on the Phalanx) and costs around a dollar per shot and only takes one try to make it happen and it's easy to see why they would be in favor of this thing.
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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Good, because the USA needs more tools to invade, and murder with. Go imperialism!
 

Lazy Kitty

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May 1, 2009
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They can kill and stun?
Well, I guess that means we now no longer have to worry when our Death Star plans get stolen.
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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SmugFrog said:
-Dragmire- said:
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.
The largest of those gun turrets can move disturbingly fast. Watching a CIWS suddenly come to life and look in a direction just looks unreal. I imagine with an air threat this thing could be queued by the air defense radar and within a second be looking in that direction.
As far as I understand the system is using the Phalanx's fire control radar for the actual engagement. The game controller is for designating the target for the fire control radar. The system is supposed to cable against close in air threats and small surface targets. There needs to be a human element in the picture for the surface targets because the radar system can't tell the difference between a boat full of fishermen and boat with a jihadist and 500lb of explosives.
 

Norix596

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Nov 2, 2010
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Saw a video of an earlier version of this a few years ago; that one needed to be running for several seconds during which the target would gradually catch on fire - sure have come a long way. I'm also shocked how "familiar" the control system looks...
 

SinisterDeath

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Nov 6, 2006
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You know.. the article says it's 'safer' than traditional armaments (true to a point!), but that doesn't mean because it uses 'electricity' it is inherently safe.

Top that off, a ship that uses it, really should have more than just Lasers at its disposal... so its still going to have your old fashion armaments... Specially in the advent of EMP weaponry!
 

ryukage_sama

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Mar 12, 2009
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KoudelkaMorgan said:
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.
Might be cheaper to cover them with black out curtains.
 

Albino Boo

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SinisterDeath said:
You know.. the article says it's 'safer' than traditional armaments (true to a point!), but that doesn't mean because it uses 'electricity' it is inherently safe.

Top that off, a ship that uses it, really should have more than just Lasers at its disposal... so its still going to have your old fashion armaments... Specially in the advent of EMP weaponry!

Warships are proofed against EMP already. They have been designed to fight in a nuclear environment for 50 years.
 

Gorrath

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Feb 22, 2013
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Evil Smurf said:
Good, because the USA needs more tools to invade, and murder with. Go imperialism!
Why is America involved in this conflict? Damn imperialist murderers!

Why isn't America doing anything about this conflict? Don't they care about the thousands that are dying? Fat, lazy Americans only care about themselves!

Your comment is facile.
 

JarinArenos

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Jan 31, 2012
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Gorrath said:
Evil Smurf said:
Good, because the USA needs more tools to invade, and murder with. Go imperialism!
Why is America involved in this conflict? Damn imperialist murderers!

Why isn't America doing anything about this conflict? Don't they care about the thousands that are dying? Fat, lazy Americans only care about themselves!
Almost like different people have widely varying opinions on what the US Military should be involved in. Imagine that.

Unless you have a quote of Evil Smurf specifically saying the US should interfere more oversees, in which case, carry on.
 

Gorrath

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Feb 22, 2013
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JarinArenos said:
Gorrath said:
Evil Smurf said:
Good, because the USA needs more tools to invade, and murder with. Go imperialism!
Why is America involved in this conflict? Damn imperialist murderers!

Why isn't America doing anything about this conflict? Don't they care about the thousands that are dying? Fat, lazy Americans only care about themselves!
Almost like different people have widely varying opinions on what the US Military should be involved in. Imagine that.

Unless you have a quote of Evil Smurf specifically saying the US should interfere more oversees, in which case, carry on.
I don't have one and I don't need one. My assertion was that his comment was facile, not that he held both opinions. I was demonstrating exactly what you said, that there are wildly different opinions about every conflict. I don't much care which of these two wildly different opinions someone expresses because they are both puerile garbage.
 

SinisterDeath

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Nov 6, 2006
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albino boo said:
SinisterDeath said:
You know.. the article says it's 'safer' than traditional armaments (true to a point!), but that doesn't mean because it uses 'electricity' it is inherently safe.

Top that off, a ship that uses it, really should have more than just Lasers at its disposal... so its still going to have your old fashion armaments... Specially in the advent of EMP weaponry!

Warships are proofed against EMP already. They have been designed to fight in a nuclear environment for 50 years.
Irrelevant. And the 'proofing' against EMP probably has more to do with Navy ships using technology that is over 60 years old, then it is actual EMP proofing. ((They still make use of Vacuum tubes, and circuits the size of your face. The amount of electricity required to fry one of those circuit boards, is measured in Watts or Killowats, not milliwatts like modern computers are.))

From a military/strategic perspective, it is foolish to assume something is invulnerable. Always look at it, as if it could fail. If EMP is one of its few weaknesses, then you have to have a backup plan for when it is disabled. (I'm sure foul weather also plays a roll!) (Course, we also have to remember, that EMP from a Nuke, is going to be different and probably weaker, then weapon designed to focus, and aim an EMP on a military grade target... And I'm really not sure how the human body would cope against something that could take out those kind of circuits!)

So if we work on the premise that Lasers are vulnerable to EMP weapons, the solution is to simply have a backup.
Weapons that aren't vulnerable to EMP weaponry. Aka, firearms/cannons/ect that are generally invulnerable to EMP weaponry.
 

EHKOS

Madness to my Methods
Feb 28, 2010
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I actually expected it to have a beam of color...

I wonder if it can create a beam for a period of time, instead of a simple shot.

Also, "It costs nine dollars and seventy cents, to fire this weapon ten times."
 

Albino Boo

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SinisterDeath said:
albino boo said:
SinisterDeath said:
You know.. the article says it's 'safer' than traditional armaments (true to a point!), but that doesn't mean because it uses 'electricity' it is inherently safe.

Top that off, a ship that uses it, really should have more than just Lasers at its disposal... so its still going to have your old fashion armaments... Specially in the advent of EMP weaponry!

Warships are proofed against EMP already. They have been designed to fight in a nuclear environment for 50 years.
Irrelevant. And the 'proofing' against EMP probably has more to do with Navy ships using technology that is over 60 years old, then it is actual EMP proofing. ((They still make use of Vacuum tubes, and circuits the size of your face. The amount of electricity required to fry one of those circuit boards, is measured in Watts or Killowats, not milliwatts like modern computers are.))

From a military/strategic perspective, it is foolish to assume something is invulnerable. Always look at it, as if it could fail. If EMP is one of its few weaknesses, then you have to have a backup plan for when it is disabled. (I'm sure foul weather also plays a roll!) (Course, we also have to remember, that EMP from a Nuke, is going to be different and probably weaker, then weapon designed to focus, and aim an EMP on a military grade target... And I'm really not sure how the human body would cope against something that could take out those kind of circuits!)

So if we work on the premise that Lasers are vulnerable to EMP weapons, the solution is to simply have a backup.
Weapons that aren't vulnerable to EMP weaponry. Aka, firearms/cannons/ect that are generally invulnerable to EMP weaponry.
You are factually incorrect. Nuclear detonations produce EMP pluses, so have to have you air search, surface search, radio communications and fire control radars survive a near miss form a nuclear warhead they have to be proofed against emp. This is done by using faraday cages and turning off antennes. A machine gun is no defence from TU-22m 300 miles away firing 3 mach 4.6 cruise missiles at you
 

Areloch

It's that one guy
Dec 10, 2012
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albino boo said:
SinisterDeath said:
albino boo said:
SinisterDeath said:
You know.. the article says it's 'safer' than traditional armaments (true to a point!), but that doesn't mean because it uses 'electricity' it is inherently safe.

Top that off, a ship that uses it, really should have more than just Lasers at its disposal... so its still going to have your old fashion armaments... Specially in the advent of EMP weaponry!

Warships are proofed against EMP already. They have been designed to fight in a nuclear environment for 50 years.
Irrelevant. And the 'proofing' against EMP probably has more to do with Navy ships using technology that is over 60 years old, then it is actual EMP proofing. ((They still make use of Vacuum tubes, and circuits the size of your face. The amount of electricity required to fry one of those circuit boards, is measured in Watts or Killowats, not milliwatts like modern computers are.))

From a military/strategic perspective, it is foolish to assume something is invulnerable. Always look at it, as if it could fail. If EMP is one of its few weaknesses, then you have to have a backup plan for when it is disabled. (I'm sure foul weather also plays a roll!) (Course, we also have to remember, that EMP from a Nuke, is going to be different and probably weaker, then weapon designed to focus, and aim an EMP on a military grade target... And I'm really not sure how the human body would cope against something that could take out those kind of circuits!)

So if we work on the premise that Lasers are vulnerable to EMP weapons, the solution is to simply have a backup.
Weapons that aren't vulnerable to EMP weaponry. Aka, firearms/cannons/ect that are generally invulnerable to EMP weaponry.
You are factually incorrect. Nuclear detonations produce EMP pluses, so have to have you air search, surface search, radio communications and fire control radars survive a near miss form a nuclear warhead they have to be proofed against emp. This is done by using faraday cages and turning off antennes. A machine gun is no defence from TU-22m 300 miles away firing 3 mach 4.6 cruise missiles at you
Further, if the EMP is potent enough to overpower the basic standard hardening that the systems go through, then I can guarantee you that the control and warhead computers on missiles, fire control and radar systems on point defense turrets and any other systems that would enable you to keep weapon operations online would succumb as well.

If the EMP is potent enough to cripple your ship in one field, it's going to be potent enough to cripple it everywhere else.
 

SinisterDeath

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Nov 6, 2006
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albino boo said:
SinisterDeath said:
albino boo said:
SinisterDeath said:
You know.. the article says it's 'safer' than traditional armaments (true to a point!), but that doesn't mean because it uses 'electricity' it is inherently safe.

Top that off, a ship that uses it, really should have more than just Lasers at its disposal... so its still going to have your old fashion armaments... Specially in the advent of EMP weaponry!

Warships are proofed against EMP already. They have been designed to fight in a nuclear environment for 50 years.
Irrelevant. And the 'proofing' against EMP probably has more to do with Navy ships using technology that is over 60 years old, then it is actual EMP proofing. ((They still make use of Vacuum tubes, and circuits the size of your face. The amount of electricity required to fry one of those circuit boards, is measured in Watts or Killowats, not milliwatts like modern computers are.))

From a military/strategic perspective, it is foolish to assume something is invulnerable. Always look at it, as if it could fail. If EMP is one of its few weaknesses, then you have to have a backup plan for when it is disabled. (I'm sure foul weather also plays a roll!) (Course, we also have to remember, that EMP from a Nuke, is going to be different and probably weaker, then weapon designed to focus, and aim an EMP on a military grade target... And I'm really not sure how the human body would cope against something that could take out those kind of circuits!)

So if we work on the premise that Lasers are vulnerable to EMP weapons, the solution is to simply have a backup.
Weapons that aren't vulnerable to EMP weaponry. Aka, firearms/cannons/ect that are generally invulnerable to EMP weaponry.
You are factually incorrect. Nuclear detonations produce EMP pluses, so have to have you air search, surface search, radio communications and fire control radars survive a near miss form a nuclear warhead they have to be proofed against emp. This is done by using faraday cages and turning off antennes. A machine gun is no defence from TU-22m 300 miles away firing 3 mach 4.6 cruise missiles at you
Factually incorrect about navy ships operating 60 year old tech?
I think not.
About Faraday cages. Yea.
And I did mention something capable of taking out said ships, even with 60 old tech & faraday cages (should they fail), might be (and probably) would fry your crew.
Though, I do have to wonder how susceptible Munitions (I'm talking Cannons/Artilery here, not missiles) are to those energy levels.. But remember, Artillery/cannons operate at speeds faster than missiles, and lasers would be a 'questionable' defense against Artillery/cannon fire. (and I would really hate to see the laser, that you can shoot out of earth's atmosphere, around the solar system, and hit a target behind the horizon and still destroy it!)

Still though, converting to 100% laser is still a foolish choice.
 

ForumSafari

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Sep 25, 2012
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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.
The Navy is beginning sea trials of railguns next year, they're designed for long range bombardment so I'd guess this laser is for close-in work, probably a munitionless version of those rotary cannon turrets they use for anti-missile work.

One of the bonuses of this kind of system is that they don't involve dangerous munitions and cut down on weight required, so any increase in generator capacity is offset by removing the need to store munitions. Even the railgun prototypes offer similar payoffs; smaller munitions in the form of slugs rather than shells and less chance of explosion.

SinisterDeath said:
Top that off, a ship that uses it, really should have more than just Lasers at its disposal... so its still going to have your old fashion armaments... Specially in the advent of EMP weaponry!
I don't know if the US navy runs manual overrides on their point defence but there's a good chance that even the old school weapons can't be fired or even moved without computers. To add in to this there's a very good chance that even if you could fire their current ciws by hand the target wouldn't be realistically vulnerable to a weapon aimed and traversed by eyeball and yells.