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The ABL and the Navy

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posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 02:36 PM
I was looking up information on the Airborne Battle Laser (ABL) and was wondering if the Navy has plans on installing a system like this on their ships? I was thinking that the laser would be a wonderful anti-missle defense system. It could be used to back up the phlanx. Any comments?

posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 04:15 PM
Well theresa plan to use a free elctron laser for ASCM defense but the free elctron laser tech is not that advanced yet (10kw). Solid state lasers are on the horizon.

[edit on 30-8-2006 by urmomma158]

[edit on 30-8-2006 by urmomma158]

posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 08:05 PM
It's not a bad idea but it will face limitations.

The first limitation is the amount of power you can lase through the atmosphere. Channel too much power through too narrow a beam, and the air turns to plasma and scatters your beam to the point where it has no effect on the target. This is a factor at altitude, it it'll be much worse with all the moisture in the air over the ocean.

The other problem is the ABL's fuel supply. It's a chemical laser that burns fuel to produce coherent light. Check out the fuel list for the ABL: 1,000 pounds of chlorine, 1,000 pounds of ammonia, 12,000 pounds of hydrogen peroxide, 220 gallons of sulphuric acid. That's pretty nasty stuff, and H2O2 breaks down over time, so you'll need constant resupply.

Solid state lasers would work but are freakishly expensive and lack the power needed to destroy incomming missiles. Over time price will come down and power go up, but there's a ways to go in both directions, and we're still years if not decades away from even mildly effective systems.

Here's two articles on the subject worth reading:
DefenceTech: Laser Jet's Toxic Interior
DefenceTech: Laser Weapons "Almost Ready?" Not!

A quote from the second article sums up my opinion on directed energy weapons rather nicely:

If you’re into military technology at all, somewhere in the back of your mind, you want laser guns to happen. Because they’re cool. Han Solo cool. Starbuck cool. James T. Kirk cool.

But wanting something to happen is very different from having it happen. And we are still a ways off – like a decade, at the very least, and probably more – from deployable laser weapons.

[edit on 30-8-2006 by RedMatt]

posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:17 PM
^^^^It's called adaptive optics and the ABL uses it to deal with this atmospheric turbulence.
The disturbance will not compromise the ABL 's beam power and lethality.

posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:18 PM
Lasers as ship defense are unrealistic, IMHO. NOot only today, but also in future. There are really no benefits when using them. Firstly even the most powerfull lasers are WEAK. They need seconds to destroy misille, and while they don't need to reloaded they need to be cooled after each shot. That will not work good against anti ship misilles - those need to be taken down IMMEDIATELY, there's no time to wait for beam to burn through. Not to mention almost complete ineffectivity in cloudy weather.
No, the old good kinetic energy projectiles are the best. Or if you want enhanced range use Sea Ram.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 04:38 PM
For a summary on why i think we should not 'shoot down' ideas about particle beam and/or laser weapons check the link below...

In 1983 flight trials of the approximately 60t laser device commenced on an Ilyushin Il-76MD heavylift transport. At the same time research was being carried out on the propagation of laser beams in the atmosphere.

Starting at the end of the 1960s, the Russians also developed ground-based nuclear laser systems for combating spacecraft. Unlike the American x-ray lasers, they could be used several times over. The programme was terminated after the USSR announced a unilateral moratorium on trials of the space defence system and the puzzling deaths of the two project managers in the mid-1980s.

The mobile Pamir-SU electro-generator, with an output of 15MW and a mass of around 20t, could supply power to long-range lasers and ultra-high-frequency weapon systems. It could be used both on the Earth and also in space. In 1994/1995 this equipment was sold to the USA.

The U.S. military operational community does not
widely appreciate the progress that has been made
in increasing SSL power levels. As noted earlier,
the three corporations participating in DoD’s Joint
High-Powered Solid-State Laser Program either
have achieved or will shortly achieve 25-kilowatt
power levels with solid-state lasers in a laboratory
environment.3 While this is far from the 100 kW
range that the DoD’s High Energy Laser Joint
Technology Office believes is necessary for a tactical
laser to be effective, this work is viewed by many
in the industry as promising. As technology progresses,
weight might emerge as a problem as it is
estimated that reaching an objective power-to-mass
ratio would result in a laser system weighing
about 11,000 pounds4, much heavier than would
be feasible for some of the uses described above.
However, some in industry argue that technological
advances could reduce the weight of a SSL laser
of optimal power to less than 4,000 pounds.

The last page makes for a good read and it lays out ( it's in picture format.
) what sort of power levels you need against various targets.


posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 10:55 PM
Thanks to all for the comments.

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