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U.S. Develops Laser Weapon For Fighter Aircraft

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posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 07:06 AM

as posted by tiddly54
so would they need to rely on dogfights in the near future again?

Dogfighting is more and more going to the wayside.
US air doctrine has heavily shifted to "first to detect, first to shot" philosophy, hence BVR [beyond visual range] air-to-air missiles.


[edit on 25-8-2005 by Seekerof]

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 07:46 AM
yeah i know that, but what stops other countries from having lasers as well?
if every one has a laser on there aircraft in 10 years, and a radar to detect missiles, could they not shoot down missiles comming from a great range? eleminating any advantage of BVR type stuff?
so that to fight they will have to use the lasers?

but then maybe these lasers will be able to fire from BVR ranges
but how far can they go with line of sight before they are shooting over the top of an approching enemy?
maybe aircraft of the 2040's or something will be ultra high altitude so as to get an advantageous position and be able to shoot down on a target, and have a much further horizon
but then any low flying planees could just shoot up at them

yes so much to ponder

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 07:51 AM

Originally posted by tiddly54
so having these new lasers, will that have an impact on the style of fighting? i would think that with lasers and a good radar, any incomming missiles from BVR aircraft would be detected and shot down.
so would they need to rely on dogfights in the near future again?

not unless they start using stealth missiles, so radars can't detect them therefore can't shoot them down. when we make a defence we will alwasy find a way to destory that defence or someway to get around it, then we make a defence to counter that offence... and things start all over again.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 07:53 AM
Though Stalin used it, I think it was Voltaire who first said: "Better is the enemy of Good Enough".

i.e. If you combine the deformable optics of a 'building scaled' emitter with _simple relay mirrors_.

Rather than going for a 500ft HAA to carry a 'refrigerator sized unit'.

So that the 'weather balloon' relays give coarse aim at physical targets and the primary controls lobe form only across the relay mirror face (more than sufficient for engaging large aircraft targets at 'tactical' ranges of 100km which are themselves twice what an AMRAAM can do).

You don't have to achieve more than put the laser 10km straight up to 'hit' a target TWICE the 40km distance that the ATL is being slant-range (through the uglies of anaprop) scaled to do on a C-130 sized platform (which is what I personally believe will be the smallest option, even with diode pumping assist).

i.e. We are so obsessed with getting the last ten percent of a platform-derived spec out of a system that we don't ask ourselves, "What about the enemy who doesn't want to fly, only keep us from doing so?"

You can loft a helluva lot of aerostat mirrors and put a HUGE amount of COIL fuel and coolant into an M-THEL (think semi truck along the lines of a Midgetman ICBM launcher) for each and every JASSM you have to fire from beyond the range of it's blast.

Which only leaves targeting. Something that can probably be done for similar costs to active radar, using range tracking camera networks and perhaps acoustic/seismic cueing devices. Again WITHOUT EMISSION.

Indeed, the Aerostat itself may be do much to solve the netcentric targeting problem as a directional (microwave) RF relay as well as netted aperture. Once you bring in civillian level imaging technology and secure cell capability, able to look down on the 'hotside' of a nominally stealthy airframe.

My 100 grande aerostat, your 100 million airframe. My 65,000ft, your 40,000ft. My 5,000 dollar per shot costs. Your 274,000 dollar per shot costs (AMRAAM to pop a stealth faceted balloon with the mirror turned edge-on will not be a good mechanical-intercept solution).

If it can be made to work, it will give almost every nation the ability to end American military dominance as a function of promising the end of direct delivery manned airpower (within 20nm of target) and perhaps the end of penetrating (over enemy soil) standoff release (within 200nm of target or whatever MTCR allows) as well.

Once this happens, you may find that every war ends up being an Iraq type conflict. As owning the sky doesn't do you a heckuva lot of good without 'deflector shields' (multispectral optical stealth).

And effectively coin-toss sacrificial platform gambiting options (uninhabiteds whose acquisition cost as a 'scalar value' to attrition will scale DOWN the closer to the target or trashfire floor that the system comes).

In many ways I hope it happens. Because it could force the U.S. to reconsider it's militarist/adventurist 'cowboy' position on foreign policy. But if it simply unleashes what are now local theater/regional powers (China) to perform lemming trades of high attrition ground warfare. Matters could become very ugly, very fast.

And you can be _absolutely sure_ that DEWS will proliferate. Because they are one answer to stealth. And because, unlike Nukes, their existence and their utility are not mutually exclusive based on 'just cause' first employment.


posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:28 AM
come on guys, this thread sound like the same fantastic weapons in the mid 80s reagan administration

one thing is a industrial laser -that dont need to travel at least 1 km- and other thing is a military laser

one thing is Kw and other thing is energy output, the same example for industrial lasers, these laser have 3-4 kw but at constant energy output, you can have a nice 150kw laser, but only for a short time, we must wait if the team reasearch develop a practical system

btw the 80s star wars proyect was a great success.......... for some corporations that ran with a bunch of dollars without any practical result

that is the way, the politics play with the nationalism, and the idiots pays.....with their taxes

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 10:41 PM

Originally posted by Popeye
Another article about this laser in New Scientist

Funny how it appears that reuters in london appears to have broke the story first, you would have thought it would have been a US agency reporting this

Funny how the Albuquerque Tribune broke the story in 2003, Reuters just now reported it 2 years later...

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:18 PM

you can have a nice 150kw laser, but only for a short time, we must wait if the team reasearch develop a practical system

Did you read it? It stated that it would be able to cool it down, just as fast a it heats up...making it stay at a certian neutral point, so it can fire as long as it wants.

ch1466 - I'm guessing you have a desk job involving I right? Because it seems like all your posts are long, in other words you probably a fast typer.
and I think having a laser on the HAA is a good thing, if its just a mirror then it cant stray to far from a powerful ground station, or the ABL.

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 02:01 AM
Murcielago, this is a solid stage laser, all solid stage lasers are very short pulse lasers, and these need some time to "recharge", solid lasers are more potent than gas lasers, but the energy output is lower, for me isnt a surprise the 15 or 150kw, the "thermal managment" problem solved sound like they use liquid nitrogen as cooling system, great stuff
, even with that you need a huge cooling system

now its obvious that they need a huge cooling system, since solid lasers are low efficient, perhaps the use the tipical UV flashlight as exitement fase, that generates a huge bunch of heat

also ABLs arent great stuff, the russians already tested powerful chemical lasers ABLs in the mid 80s, like the A60 /il 76md

[edit on 26-8-2005 by grunt2]

posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 03:58 AM

you can have a nice 150kw laser, but only for a short time, we must wait if the team reasearch develop a practical system.

This is the essential limitation of current ABL systems in that you get about two shots of 2-4 seconds each with a 4 second recharge inbetween and then a somewhat longer cooldown and chemical recycle/discharge interval, followed by perhaps 10-15 more such sequences.

OTOH, the ability to go with a closed cycle system 'as big as you want' on a ground installation (or even simply to vent and screw the environmentals if you're a 'petty dictator') is much greater since the equivalent of a semitractor's weight is not all squished out into aerodynamic shapes that enclose systems volume very inefficiently.

THIS is where the U.S. is _not paying attention_ to the consequences of it's 'pioneering efforts'. Because if the fluid cycle 'Sterling Engineering' is simpler to do on the ground and the engineering math and high quality tooling (the U.S. annually graduates about 60,000 engineer majors, Japan alone does something closer to 300,000) is something that we also no longer have a monopoly on. It's not even like you can suddenly say "Okay, nothing with a microchip in it can go to X..." because even a high end gamestation like X-box has exploitable chipsets and /those/ are largely being engineered in Malaysia and other PacRim States.

S2A's only real short coming is diffractive optics and anaprop (obscurrants, water vapor etc.) through the low level air. Once that is beaten, it will become /vastly/ cheaper to put a 1,001 beam directors on the ground and then _dare_ U.S. airpower to fly a contrail over the top of a site. Certainly, at 80-100 million apiece, the JSF is going to be absolutely WORTHLESS as a 'cheap fighter' able to trade attrition at that scale. Even if we were not so in lust with our aircrews as to be willing to send them in like beaters to find the tiger's flaming eye by stepping on it.

ch1466 - I'm guessing you have a desk job involving I right? Because it seems like all your posts are long, in other words you probably a fast typer. And I think having a laser on the HAA is a good thing, if its just a mirror then it cant stray to far from a powerful ground station, or the ABL.

Why should it? The advantage of defense is that it the offense HAS TO come to it. This means you can set up as layered a defensive system as you want.

Only idiot countries, stuck in a 1960's mindset, try to use point defense systems _clustered around targets_ to defend against the inbound threat like a man reaching for a gun in his nightstand as the prowler comes through his bedroom door.

And yet, even for massively capable systems like S-300/400, ASTER/MEADs and ERINT; this is basically what you are restricted to because you are counting on a given emitter-X to detect a target-Y RCS at distance-Z ranges from said aperture frontface.

If the missile is therefore sitting next to the engagement radar (which is typical even for weapons with active/autonomous homing to provide midcourse guidance uplink) you can NEVER shoot further than you can see.

Which makes a ballistic reach on the 150km on the S-300PMU and 300-350 on the S-300PMU2/400 class unexploitable. Because even if you (netcentrically) catch the enemy with an area-surveillance system downrange of the sight (and assuming it isn't EA/DEAD'd within seconds) the airframe WILL move out of the engagement box before the missile arrives, 40-120 seconds later.

If there is no target in the search volume, the seeker can't find it even if it is, itself, capable of detecting the base RCS and defeating all the target's defensive penaids (towed/freeflight decoys, jaff, crosseye/crosspol Jx etc.).

The difference with a laser system is two fold.

First, it ditches the mechanical kill vehicle. So there is no time of flight nor heavy dollar investment in a throw away weapon which needs external guidance (i.e. one is lost upon firing, the other MUST survive to fire again). If there is no need for a fixed radar:missile association index, you can go to much cheaper sector radars (no engagement/FC 'high gain' tracking requirement). Or move to acouso-optical systems.

Second, because you KNOW the limits, very specifically, for line of sight or range extension by mirror, it becomes easier to justify imbedding the likely ingress routes all the way out to the border because the laser not only does not need but in fact _cannot afford_ to play arrow-vice-archer games at the target end of the enemy air threats weapons delivery zone. It simply is too hard to track a winged JDAM (20-50nm standoff) and too many can be launched simultaneously to defeat them all 'defensively' around that fixed attack point.

Instead, you must switch to what I call _volume defense_ where it is the dirt that the enemy flies over to get to the target which counts. Not the objective at it's end.

Here too, lasers aid you.

1. A decent range tracking camera, like unto that which showed the Columbia breakup, costs 2-4 million bucks. A decent 3D search radar runs 10-11 million. A good tuned artillery acoustic direction finding system will run you less than 200 grande.

2. There is no compareable throwaway (aside from 3-5,000 bucks of chemicals) on a half million dollar SAM.

With these two advantages, you can afford to TRIPLE the number of air defense (sensor and shooter) installation densities on the ground. So the traditional SAM-1:Raid-1 attrition exchange rate goes further down, based on the notion that perhaps 2-3 sites play overlapping 'zone defense' and each bag 2-3 kills before a response can even be mounted against them.

A 60-100 million dollar S-300 site is _not_, repeat NOT tradeable for even an F-35 type platform. Because you may only have 1-2 such batteries in your entire OOB. But if you can kill 6 F-16s (25-27 million each) and lose one, 20 million dollar, THEL-M/NAUTILUS type system.

You will win the air war.

The only way to take back the high frontier once the enemy moves to SOL (Speed Of Light though the 'other definition' is also applicable) is to in fact _yield it up_. Shifting to all lolo ingress methods and praying that you don't get hit by some idiot with a golden bb (which is even cheaper). Of course this poses it's own problems.

In that a dead or captured pilot cannot fly another sortie. And all your IAM reliance on cheapo guided ballistic iron (even those with glide kits) goes right out the window. Since your standoff from low level is never going to be more than about 8nm.

Even ignoring airframe costs, we WILL NOT trade aircrews, '1:1' with back of beyond barbarians. Which can only mean cruise or UCAV platforms as an alternative. And that in turn takes away much of the glory and displaced identification 'knight complex' identification with aerial warfare as being some kind of honorable sport.

Since robots don't /need/ pilots (i.e. their sortie rates are independent of manning ratio or fatigue), once you fire-find all the sparkle threats with the robots as a function of corridor roll back to a given target area (using saturative attacks with missiles like LOCAAS dropped out of aeroballistic, hypersonic, fast response weapons), you might as well continue to use said UCAVs to once more drop from altitude the equally robotic (cheap and no human skill required after launch) bombs.

While nominally an interesting approach, this evolutionary path ignores two other problems:

A. The U.S. must come to a theater and set up a basing footprint using expeditionary pallet counts of A/B/C transferred (C-17) ton:mile densities. If it makes sense to send mini-MIRV weapons out to kill the lasers. It equally makes sense (i.e. the technology will be available) to obliterate the U.S. expeditionary force BEFORE it stands up.

B The 'People Factor' of what amounts to a union-dole military wage environment in which the officer flying corps are at the top of the salaried food chain, will _never_ willingly submit to being outmoded. Hence you have what is now a 257 BILLION dollar investment in the JSF program for what is increasingly looking to be fewer than 1,500 airframes (the original buy was for 2,398.). If, in peacetime, you expend all that capital investment on a system which is like unto a Maginot Line in war, you won't be /able/ to recover and redirect investment into alternative methods, later on.

I have long said that war is a sport of butchers who seek not to win but to profit from losing, continually. Because the reality of conflict is that, as it escalates on a technological spiral, you will reach a point where you can no longer leverage the battle with technical skill, tactical 'bravery' or logistical depth of resources over the people who are fighting it.

But must instead bow down and become servant to the machines which once made you a better killer but now ARE 'both the hand and the sword wielding it'.

The sadness is that war is such a horrific event that we fail to realize it DOES have a purpose. Namely to amalgamate resources, both social and strategic, under one legal and profit sharing system that is recognized by all as fair.

It is now too late to use it for that purpose. Because we have ourselves declared thru Nuremburg that war as a _national_ (say efficient) activity is a crime against humanity without replacing the system of conquest with something better than entropic reinforcement of commercialism that is 'coallition peacekeeping'.

In this, continuing to pioneer better war-tech which an ever smarter 'third world' now supplies an increasing majority of subcomponents for, is asking to have to face and fight those whom we have kept from using war for it's real utility. People who WILL HAVE the skill to employ the very systems we have taught them to exploit through suppression rather than liberation.

Such is, perhaps, a natural consequence to the break down of polarized powerblocks into an 'U.S. and Anarchic' environment. Yet from Rome and Charlemagne to Spain and England it is also a VERY bad idea for overall global stability of civilization itself.

And if we fall from here, it will be a long drop indeed before anything catches us to start crawling up the slippery slope again.


posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 12:34 PM
ch1466 - You never anwserd my deskjob question. ?

That was a pretty good post...but I do eyes started to glaze over half way through.

Thats why usually my posts are short and have a picture, because a picture says a thousand words. (so I dont have to)

[edit on 8-9-2005 by Murcielago]

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 04:45 PM

Originally posted by ulshadow
The Point Air Laser Defence i think is used just to shoot down incoming enemy missiles. Like in the game C&C Generals Zero Hour, the USA Air Force General's Aircrafts have Point Air Laser Defence which to shoot down missiles.

i use that feature all the time, its almost an unfair advantage, i like it

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