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Old April 9 2013, 06:59 PM   #1
Romulan_spy
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US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

US Navy installing a laser on a warship! The future is here:
http://www.popsci.com/technology/art...freaking-laser
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Old April 9 2013, 07:23 PM   #2
T J
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

'Bout time!
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Old April 9 2013, 07:41 PM   #3
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

USS Ponce -- seriously? I'm guessing it's named for Juan Ponce de Leon, and not a pimp or an effeminate man.

I think the US Navy is pretty far down the road with developing rail guns as well.
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Old April 9 2013, 08:00 PM   #4
Romulan_spy
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I think the US Navy is pretty far down the road with developing rail guns as well.
Yep, in fact General Atomics had their railgun at the 2013 Sea-air-Space Expo and the Navy has tested one several times. So, we are not far off from having railguns installed on the next generation warships. Cool!
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Old April 9 2013, 09:38 PM   #5
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!



"Lasers"
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Old April 9 2013, 09:49 PM   #6
DarthTom
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

Romulan_spy wrote: View Post
US Navy installing a laser on a warship! The future is here:
http://www.popsci.com/technology/art...freaking-laser
I think this is awesome. I was thinking about this and other missile interceptor technology related to the tactics of war.

Lets say North Korea does launch a missile tomorrow, and lets say we suspect it has a nuclear weapon on it. What if our missile interceptor technology becomes so good that we can stop 99.99% of any countries missles.

What is the appropriate level of a military response is weve essentially eiminated nuclear missile's as a threat?

Should we still bomb the shit out of the North Koreans?
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Old April 9 2013, 10:06 PM   #7
Mr. Adventure
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
USS Ponce -- seriously? I'm guessing it's named for Juan Ponce de Leon, and not a pimp or an effeminate man.
I was just about to comment on the ship's name myself...
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Old April 10 2013, 12:16 AM   #8
SchwEnt
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

At first I was like, but then I was like...

Sure it's the 21st century, about damn time the lazer guns showed up. But then I was reading the PDF doc about it. I don't know...

On the plus side, laser weapons have unlimited ammo as long as the ship can generate electricity--which I suppose is better than a limited amount of conventional missile ammo.

On the plus side, laser weapons cost about $1 per shot versus thousands or millions of dollars per missile.

However... lasers are limited to line-of-sight, which makes it a close-in weapon only. So much modern weaponry is beyond-visual range, over the horizon. Lasers aren't.

And lasers (at least this model) have a limited range of about one mile, and larger models may have a ten mile range. Conventional weapons far exceed that limit now.

Also, the lasers are line-of-sight weapons, whereas conventional weapons (say an anti-missile interceptor) can independently launch and maneuver and track a target.

The lasers don't just make conventional weaponry obsolete at all. It offers up a varying array of abilities and options.

Very interesting development.
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Old April 10 2013, 02:08 AM   #9
Psion
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
USS Ponce -- seriously? I'm guessing it's named for Juan Ponce de Leon, and not a pimp or an effeminate man.

I think the US Navy is pretty far down the road with developing rail guns as well.
Ponce is a city in Puerto Rico. The USS Ponce is named after that city ... which itself was named after that de Leon guy.
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Old April 10 2013, 04:50 AM   #10
FPAlpha
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
At first I was like, but then I was like...

Sure it's the 21st century, about damn time the lazer guns showed up. But then I was reading the PDF doc about it. I don't know...

On the plus side, laser weapons have unlimited ammo as long as the ship can generate electricity--which I suppose is better than a limited amount of conventional missile ammo.

On the plus side, laser weapons cost about $1 per shot versus thousands or millions of dollars per missile.

However... lasers are limited to line-of-sight, which makes it a close-in weapon only. So much modern weaponry is beyond-visual range, over the horizon. Lasers aren't.

And lasers (at least this model) have a limited range of about one mile, and larger models may have a ten mile range. Conventional weapons far exceed that limit now.

Also, the lasers are line-of-sight weapons, whereas conventional weapons (say an anti-missile interceptor) can independently launch and maneuver and track a target.

The lasers don't just make conventional weaponry obsolete at all. It offers up a varying array of abilities and options.

Very interesting development.
I think it never was intended as an offensive, beyond visual range weapon but as a CIWS system that protects ships and installations from small, agile targets.

In that role it will perform quite well i think once it's tested out to death and replaces systems such as Phalanx.

Where it is superior to defense missiles is that it instantenously hits the target (provided the mechanism and targeting system locks onto the target properly and the laser is correctly aligned) so there is no need for expensive seeking missiles.. all you need is to keep it targetted for those few moments until the laserbeam cuts into the missile.

I don't know about the planned power of such systems so i can't judge how much time such a laserbeam would need to take out an antiship or cruise missile.. is a single powerful pulse enough or does it take a second or more of continious fire to burn through?

Anyway this is just a natural progression, it will save costs in the long run apparently and may become the primary defense system in a decade or so.
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Old April 10 2013, 05:11 AM   #11
bigdaddy
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Romulan_spy wrote: View Post
US Navy installing a laser on a warship! The future is here:
http://www.popsci.com/technology/art...freaking-laser
I think this is awesome. I was thinking about this and other missile interceptor technology related to the tactics of war.

Lets say North Korea does launch a missile tomorrow, and lets say we suspect it has a nuclear weapon on it. What if our missile interceptor technology becomes so good that we can stop 99.99% of any countries missles.

What is the appropriate level of a military response is weve essentially eiminated nuclear missile's as a threat?

Should we still bomb the shit out of the North Koreans?
North Korea would just give the nuke to terrorists. It's a nuke, it doesn't need to be on a missile.

So we would bomb them.
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Old April 10 2013, 05:49 AM   #12
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
North Korea would just give the nuke to terrorists. It's a nuke, it doesn't need to be on a missile.
Funny thing about nuclear warheads: most people don't realize that only the really advanced/expensive/sophisticated ones are actually portable. North Korea's most advanced warhead likely weighs three or four tones and comes in a casing the size of a compact car. Just "giving" it to terrorists is unlikely to be all that simple, let alone transporting it to anything worth bombing.

Actually, North Korea would be better off smuggling the warhead to China and then FedExing it to New York along with a shipment of sneakers.

Good way to get it past customs, at least. "Shipping manifest says that ship is carrying a nuke.... that's gotta be a typo, right? They must mean Nike."
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Old April 10 2013, 11:47 AM   #13
FPAlpha
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
bigdaddy wrote: View Post
North Korea would just give the nuke to terrorists. It's a nuke, it doesn't need to be on a missile.
Funny thing about nuclear warheads: most people don't realize that only the really advanced/expensive/sophisticated ones are actually portable. North Korea's most advanced warhead likely weighs three or four tones and comes in a casing the size of a compact car. Just "giving" it to terrorists is unlikely to be all that simple, let alone transporting it to anything worth bombing.

Actually, North Korea would be better off smuggling the warhead to China and then FedExing it to New York along with a shipment of sneakers.

Good way to get it past customs, at least. "Shipping manifest says that ship is carrying a nuke.... that's gotta be a typo, right? They must mean Nike."

To be honest.. as unreal as that sounds the simplicity of it just might work. I work in logistics and international shipping and i know that it is impossible for any nation to control each container. There are random samples of course but if the documents are ok chances are very high that the container will pass normally and enter the country.

Now obviously it's not that simply because every intelligence service in the western world is observing NK's nuclear sites so sneaking out a big warhead and across borders to China would be very hard and then you'd need people in China to load that thing into a shipping container and create the bogus documents.

Might make a decent Tom Clancy novel though.
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Old April 10 2013, 04:14 PM   #14
Crazy Eddie
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
bigdaddy wrote: View Post
North Korea would just give the nuke to terrorists. It's a nuke, it doesn't need to be on a missile.
Funny thing about nuclear warheads: most people don't realize that only the really advanced/expensive/sophisticated ones are actually portable. North Korea's most advanced warhead likely weighs three or four tones and comes in a casing the size of a compact car. Just "giving" it to terrorists is unlikely to be all that simple, let alone transporting it to anything worth bombing.

Actually, North Korea would be better off smuggling the warhead to China and then FedExing it to New York along with a shipment of sneakers.

Good way to get it past customs, at least. "Shipping manifest says that ship is carrying a nuke.... that's gotta be a typo, right? They must mean Nike."

To be honest.. as unreal as that sounds the simplicity of it just might work. I work in logistics and international shipping and i know that it is impossible for any nation to control each container. There are random samples of course but if the documents are ok chances are very high that the container will pass normally and enter the country.

Now obviously it's not that simply because every intelligence service in the western world is observing NK's nuclear sites so sneaking out a big warhead and across borders to China would be very hard and then you'd need people in China to load that thing into a shipping container and create the bogus documents.

Might make a decent Tom Clancy novel though.
All true, but smuggling something that large to terrorists -- who them have to arrange to transport it to wherever the hell they're planning to use it -- would be even harder to pull off.

Let alone the logistics challenges of an Islamist terrorist organization to smuggle something that large into a foreign country. If/when Iraqi IEDs start showing up in New York we might have reason to be worried, but otherwise it's not exactly a realistic scenario.
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Old April 10 2013, 08:58 PM   #15
gturner
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Re: US Navy installing laser on ship to shoot down drones!

^ There are no illegal Mexicans in the US, nor multi-ton shipments of pot. I repeat. No illegals or illegal drugs could possibly make it across our border.

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