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A.B.L as an attack platform?

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posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 09:02 AM
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Recently I replied to a thread about what can stop a SR 71 with the reply of the A.B.L!. I then got to thinking what else could get past if it can stop the fastest ( known! ) aircraft in the world!.

Without knowing the exact range and power of the COIL laser fitted to the system it is hard to guess what it could not stop and it does not stop at aircraft. Equipment on the ground and at sea must also be fair game if the laser can target specific areas of the targets i.e. fuel tanks, weapons etc. Tanks might be a harder target due to the amount of armour and the amount of power needed to burn through it!

If the laser system could be mounted in or on a lighter than air vehicle it could be the ultimate weapon for area denial as nothing would be able to get near it to shoot it down without being targeted and vapourised!

Who would need star wars weapons!. All you would need is a few of these airships or tethered blimps positioned around the area or country and you would be pretty much invunerable.

Is this a flight of fancy or is this system already on the drawing boards and possibly even floating over a desert near you........!

What do you think and I am not Dale Brown!

Sv out......!




posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 09:33 AM
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The laser idea has been played with for a while, and it has gotten so advanced that a COIL laser can shoot artillery shells out of the sky. But those are projectiles at close-to-medium range. An SR-71 is hundreds of miles away and goind Mach 3. 3 Times the speed of sounds. No matter how accurate you are with a laser even a minor course deviation is going to screw up teh laser. plus even a degree's variation in the laser is gonna put the beam waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off!

We just need to get better, and then perhaps we could do this.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:14 AM
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With the right amount of power, the ABL can hit anything at any speeds, granted its targeting software is that advanced. Remember, a LASER travels at the speed of light.

Now granted those implications aren't in the way, after all, it is all theoretical.

ABL should be able to shoot down ICBMs and any kind of missile too, as for the SR-71, well that would require more advanced Software, I'm not saying that it can't do it, because the ABL is capable of it, it just needs the power requirement and the software requirement.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:28 AM
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If it (laser) can track and engage a ICBM, a blackbird should be easy meat (for the tracking system), its just a question of laser range - where do they engage the ICBMs along their flight path?



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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Its an interesting thought, I am now imagining a 747 ABL flying up the Persian Gulf picking off ground targets many miles inland with its laser.

Is this feasible or practical? I have no idea but its an impressive mental image!



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:49 AM
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I've read somewhere that the ICBM is supposed to be attacked in the boost phase so as to scatter any debris on the launch countries doorstep!

Can anyone see a problem with these systems being attached or mounted on lighter than air vehicles ( apart from the vehicles speed ) i.e payload, survivability, ect.

I know the targeting needs to be highly advanced but they have already demonstated the ability to track and shoot down drone aircraft with a ground based laser and that, I think, was in the middle to late eighties so I would imagine that the technology has moved on a fair bit and this is the stuff that is not classified!

Sv out........!



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
- where do they engage the ICBMs along their flight path?


ABLs ICBM engagements are predominately before the ICBM has exited the atmosphere and/or secondarily, upon re-entry.

As for the ABL being able to track and destroy an SR-71, as with the acquiring, targeting, and actual destruction of ICBMs, bear in mind the requirements for doing so:
1) exposure time
2) precise targeting information
3) laser platform pointing and tracking stability

As per this MILNET briefing mention:


The full power beam can melt or vaporize virtually any target, given enough exposure time. With precise targeting information (accuracy of inches) and beam pointing and tracking stability, a full power beam can successfully attack ground or airborne targets by melting or cracking cockpit canopies, burning through control cables, exploding fuel tanks, melting or burning sensor assemblies and antenna arrays, exploding or melting munitions pods, destroying ground communications and power grids, and melting or burning a large variety of strategic targets (e.g. dams, industrial and defense facilities, and munitions factories) -- all in a fraction of a second.

MILNET Brief: Weapons for 2025 - 2/10/2005






seekerof

[edit on 9-10-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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Supposedly (Whats I can find from what little publications there are) there are only two limits to the ABLs attack range.

Horizon - It cant shoot through the earth.

Edge of atmosphere - The laser is calibrated to operate in the atmosphere once in a vacuum it becomes unpredictable. It can be calibrated easily to operate in a vacuum but then it scatters badly entering the atmosphere.

There is possibly a third but they wont admit it.

Power - The farther energy travels through the atmosphere the more energy is required at the start. This is due to scattering and some absorbtion. I have no idea how far the ABL can fire with at its currently planned power.

I've read many papers on this and charged ion cannons recently and with both platforms shooting from space to earth or from earth to space causes massive problems that as of yet no one sees a way around. Apparently the particle cannon will be more suited to switching operating enviroments on a shot but still not reliable.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 12:02 PM
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Does that mean that if it was flying high enough, and shooting downwards, then my little scenario is actually possible?


edit because I hit the wrong keys too often in the dark


[edit on 9-10-2005 by waynos]



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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Very possible in fact if you read Seeker's qoute its already been thought of.

Anything that doesn't reflect the laser will absorb it to some degree. That is the main way it does its damage. When most any substance tries to absorb that amount of energy that fast it simply heats up and melts/disentegrates.

Now questions of my own...

Who will be the first to use reflective armor?

Will the laser effect concrete, brick, etc..? If so would it be worth mentioning for the few seconds a shot can be sustained?




[edit on 9-10-2005 by Xerrog]

[edit on 9-10-2005 by Xerrog]



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by Silentvulcan
. Equipment on the ground and at sea must also be fair game if the laser can target specific areas of the targets i.e. fuel tanks, weapons etc. Tanks might be a harder target due to the amount of armour and the amount of power needed to burn through it!



Lasers like the A.B.L would be worthless on heavy armour targets like tanks. The exposure time would need to do any damage is well beyond what any modern systems can do.

Its not impossible though, I dont think there are any physical laws preventing you from making a laser powerful enough to slice tank armour like butter or for that matter even a mountian if you had enough power. As long as you have enough power there is really no limit how powerful you could make a laser.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 02:11 PM
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An LAV (Lighter-than-Air-Vehicle) would have several advantages over an aircraft as a laser attack platform:


  1. LAV's are generally less expensive than other forms of aircraft, so, within a given budget, more LAV's could be fielded to provide more/better coverage/protection.
  2. LAV's can fly higher than most aircraft, thus providing a broader area of coverage, perhaps even near "over-the-horizon" coverage.
  3. At lower altitudes LAV's can loft higher payload weights than most other forms of aircraft; crucial for the high-power/long-firing duration laser systems likely to be required against hardened/armoured ground targets.
  4. Only LAV's and helicopters can hover over a target area, and only LAV's can remain on station for hours, days, and with recent developments, even weeks on end, providing continuous, even automomous, coverage.


However, LAV's have several significant disadvantages not shared by other aircraft: LAV's are typically far larger and much slower than other aircraft. And, although LAV's are capable of lofting exetremely heavy payloads, they are only thusly capable at lower altitudes; easily assailible by ground fire. Although an LAV may be constructed out of materials which render it RF stealthy (and coincidentally, many of these materials ideal for such construction given their high strength and light weight), An LAV capable of lofting a battlefield laser would have a huge visual signature!

Such a vehicle would be a low, slow-moving target for anyone with eyes to see it and a surface-to-air missle to shoot it down.

But, perhaps if you were to attack at night.....




[edit on 9-10-2005 by Bhadhidar]



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 09:59 PM
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The laser could not hit any ground based targets because of atmospheric disturbances and variation in temps. In space none of this happens, so its easy to shoot space to space. In the atmoshpere at altitude, the temperature and distortions can be calibrated for air to air, but getting close to the ground the variations become almost impossible to account for all differences so for now air to ground is pretty useless.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX

Originally posted by Silentvulcan
. Equipment on the ground and at sea must also be fair game if the laser can target specific areas of the targets i.e. fuel tanks, weapons etc. Tanks might be a harder target due to the amount of armour and the amount of power needed to burn through it!



Lasers like the A.B.L would be worthless on heavy armour targets like tanks. The exposure time it would need to do any damage is well beyond what any modern systems can do.

Its not impossible though, I dont think there are any physical laws preventing you from making a laser powerful enough to slice tank armour like butter or for that matter even a mountian if you had enough power. As long as you have enough power there is really no limit how powerful you could make a laser.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX

Originally posted by ShadowXIX

Originally posted by Silentvulcan
. Equipment on the ground and at sea must also be fair game if the laser can target specific areas of the targets i.e. fuel tanks, weapons etc. Tanks might be a harder target due to the amount of armour and the amount of power needed to burn through it!



Lasers like the A.B.L would be worthless on heavy armour targets like tanks. The exposure time it would need to do any damage is well beyond what any modern systems can do.

Its not impossible though, I dont think there are any physical laws preventing you from making a laser powerful enough to slice tank armour like butter or for that matter even a mountian if you had enough power. As long as you have enough power there is really no limit how powerful you could make a laser.


that is one problem, aiming is another



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:18 PM
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This is an interesting application. The turret rotates and Im pretty sure it can be pointed down. The existing laser may not be effective against tanks, but soft targets like radars, fuel tanks etc would make excellent targets for it. However, it a huge slow non stealthy and needs to be fairly close to its target. if it can hit IRBM's etc, hitting an A/C or a ground target should not be a huge issue at all.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
This is an interesting application. The turret rotates and Im pretty sure it can be pointed down. The existing laser may not be effective against tanks, but soft targets like radars, fuel tanks etc would make excellent targets for it. However, it a huge slow non stealthy and needs to be fairly close to its target. if it can hit IRBM's etc, hitting an A/C or a ground target should not be a huge issue at all.


Airborne lasers cannot hit ground based objects because of distortion, and it will take allot of effort and time to get a system in place to do so. In reality, conventional weapons like bombs or kinetic weapons would be cheaper and more energy efficient. There is no real incentive to use a laser from air to ground now.



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by roniii259
Airborne lasers cannot hit ground based objects because of distortion...

Hi ronii259.
Actually they can, as indicated by the MILNET Brief, link furnished in my initial post above:


The full power beam can melt or vaporize virtually any target, given enough exposure time. With precise targeting information (accuracy of inches) and beam pointing and tracking stability, a full power beam can successfully attack ground or airborne targets by melting or cracking cockpit canopies, burning through control cables, exploding fuel tanks, melting or burning sensor assemblies and antenna arrays, exploding or melting munitions pods, destroying ground communications and power grids, and melting or burning a large variety of strategic targets (e.g. dams, industrial and defense facilities, and munitions factories) -- all in a fraction of a second.



In regards to this:


and it will take allot of effort and time to get a system in place to do so. In reality, conventional weapons like bombs or kinetic weapons would be cheaper and more energy efficient. There is no real incentive to use a laser from air to ground now.

Bearing in mind that the intended purpose of the ABL system was to acquire, target, and destroy in-flight ICBMs and other airbourne threats, what you indicated above, I would concur/agree with.







seekerof

[edit on 10-10-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 01:23 AM
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ABL's COIL range is 200+ miles and of course laser is light so it travels at the speed of light. Which as we all know is far faster than SR-71.



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 01:29 AM
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Guys the discussion of the ABL downing an SR-71 is already ongoing in the aviation forum. So lets keep this on topic regarding the interesting application of ground attack for the ABL.

Rember as well that the USAF has looked at equiping a C-130 with a THEL systems as well sort of a laser based AC-130. I will try to dig up a link in a momnet.



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