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Ground Based Lasers To Protect Airliners

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posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 02:13 PM
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Northrup Grumman is designing a Laser system called HORNET to protect passenger aircraft in the takeooff and landing phase of flight.
 


Placed at or near an airport, the laser would react "at the speed of light" to destroy any heat-seeking missile streaking up at a passenger jet

Dubbed the Hazardous Ordnance Engagement Toolkit, which shortens to the more user-friendly HORNET, the system is a direct descendant of the company's Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL).

While the government and Northrop Grumman have yet to hash out exactly how HORNET would be employed, Caruana said preliminary company studies indicate a single system would be adequate to protect airports at Los Angeles and some other major cities. To be effective, HORNET must have an unobstructed view of the area around an airport, especially near the runways where aircraft take off and land


www.globalsecurity.org...

If a system such as were to be deployed, shoulder launched missiles would be much less of a threat than they are now.




posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 02:19 PM
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I wonder when these will be massed produced for use by the armed forces. I know that there are some ground-based lasers out in Hawaii right now.



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:10 PM
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The T.H.E.L.S or Tactical High Energy Laser System is indeed a impressive weapon but i think protecting planes may not be its best application. You could use jammers and chaff type defensive measures for far less cost. I still think the THELS would be great for anti ICBM applications from ground or air based systems.



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:12 PM
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It be interesting/great to have them for if or when more like someone goes toe to toe with the US. We need SDI like programs.



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
anti ICBM applications from ground or air based systems.



Katyushas and arti shells yeah, but icbms?



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:22 PM
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Yes, the US started working on and has laser (death ray, x-ray what you wish) type weapons. All you need is a guidence system and enough money to put it in space.



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
The T.H.E.L.S or Tactical High Energy Laser System is indeed a impressive weapon but i think protecting planes may not be its best application. You could use jammers and chaff type defensive measures for far less cost. I still think the THELS would be great for anti ICBM applications from ground or air based systems.

Actually the THEL is quite effective on the shorter range missiles - including artillery type missiles such as the Russian Katyusha rockets that are fired in large volleys from a box like launcher on the back of a truck.

A Little about Northrop Grumman's THEL
The Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) THEL, was initially developed by TRW Inc. under a $89 million contract. During several tests out at White Sands, the system shot down a volley of 25 Katyusha rockets, but has not been officially deployed.

Here's an image of it...



Here's a Katyusha rocket in flight that got destroyed by the THEL




intelgurl


[Edited on 21-1-2004 by intelgurl]



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:23 PM
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THEL was originally developed to counter hezbollah missile attacks in israel, funny thing it was never sent there...I dont understand why you think flares and chaff would be better...you still stand a chance of getting hit...THEL on the other hand is not going to run out of ammunition and while at white sands test range it shot down two incoming missiles SIMULTANEOUSLY...
I think I'd rather have the laser...


*edit Intelgurl gets the jump on me yet again*

[Edited on 21-1-2004 by cyberpilot]



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by cyberpilot
THEL was originally developed to counter hezbollah missile attacks in israel, funny thing it was never sent there...I dont understand why you think flares and chaff would be better...you still stand a chance of getting hit...THEL on the other hand is not going to run out of ammunition and while at white sands test range it shot down two incoming missiles SIMULTANEOUSLY...
I think I'd rather have the laser...



the mobile version of the THEL. Production is scheduled for completion in 2004, and the project is slated to end in 2007.

The laser could be in use in 2007. Since development began in 1996, the Army, the Israeli Defense Ministry and TRW had spent $250 million on the project through 2002.






posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:29 PM
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Lots of tech is comming out in 07, Lan Warrior, M-29, Death Rays, whats next?



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:32 PM
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Good post Gaza, yes that is correct...I tend to give vague responses to these type threads...better to say too little than too much...but how they gonna get THEL to select a suicide bomber as a threat/target?



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by cyberpilot
Good post Gaza, yes that is correct...I tend to give vague responses to these type threads...better to say too little than too much...but how they gonna get THEL to select a suicide bomber as a threat/target?



i dont think katyushas and artillery can launch suicide bombers



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:34 PM
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Anyone think systems like the THELS might be a good weapons for shooting down UFOs?



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 04:42 PM
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LOL another Good one Gaza, maybe they could use a large bore mortar to launch them?...



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 05:29 PM
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Excellent post Intelgirl, informative and well spoken.
I like the pictures of the russian rockets exploding, great find Intelgirl!



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by Solarix
Excellent post Intelgirl, informative and well spoken.
I like the pictures of the russian rockets exploding, great find Intelgirl!




the katyusha is from ww2



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 07:45 PM
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INTELGURL, Thanks for the great backround on THELS

Does anyone have a guess at cost of a single deployed THELS or HORNET minus the development cost ?



posted on Jan, 21 2004 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by SectorGaza
the katyusha is from ww2

Yes, and quite an achievement for something that is currently under development and has 4 more years before deployment...
Every piece of hardware has to start somewhere - this one just happened to start by shooting down Katyushas.
Which by the way are a common artillery weapon in the middle east -



posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 12:43 PM
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The THELS can run out of shots just like any other weapon it uses a chemical reaction to create the power to fire the laser after a certain number of shots the system must be refueled before it can fire again. Also the THELS version that is mounted in the 747 was designed to shoot down large missiles like scuds and other types of longer range missles



posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
The THELS can run out of shots just like any other weapon it uses a chemical reaction to create the power to fire the laser after a certain number of shots the system must be refueled before it can fire again. Also the THELS version that is mounted in the 747 was designed to shoot down large missiles like scuds and other types of longer range missles


Shadow,

You are absolutely right, in fact each THEL shot costs about $8,000, however - when used for intercepting longer range munitions such as Scuds, that $8,000 shot is very economical compared to kinetic-energy missiles such as the Patriot PAC-3, which currently costs $3.8 million a shot.

THEL Operational Scenario
The Tactical High Energy Laser uses a high-energy, deuterium fluoride chemical laser to protect against attack by short range unguided (ballistic flying) rockets.

In a typical engagement scenario, a rocket is launched toward the defended area. Upon detection by the THEL fire control radar the radar establishes trajectory information about the incoming rocket, then "hands off" the target to the "Pointer-Tracker Subsystem". The PTS tracks the target optically, then begins a "fine tracking" process for THEL's beam director, which then places THEL's high-energy laser on target. The energy of the laser causes intense heating of the target, which causes its warhead to explode.

History of Military Chemical Lasers

The military began exploring the combat potential of lasers in the 1960s. At that time, researchers focused almost exclusively on chemically activated lasers. Tests at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF) here at White Sands have produced impressive results ever since. As early as 1978, a chemical laser blasted through a tethered helicopter.

The THEL became the first laser weapon to track and destroy multiple artillery projectiles in flight. It has destroyed rockets, mortars and artillery shells in mid-flight, but artillery shells have demonstrated that they are harder to track and to destroy because rockets are larger and pressurized; the THEL will be tested on larger missiles further in it's development.

The Future: From Chemical to Solid State

The ultimate goal for the Armys laser program, however, is a 100-kilowatt solid-state laser. Solid-state are all-electric lasers. Unlike chemical lasers, which require a chemical reaction, the solid-state devices use electric power to convert the energy of the crystal into laser power. In the future, when the Army develops a large solid-state laser, the cost per kill would be measured in cents, not dollars.

For the future combat system, the Armys next-generation tank, the goal is to have a 100-kilowatt, un-cooled, solid-state laser as both an offensive and defensive weapon.

TRW engineer working on THEL




Night video still of THEL in operation.



Documentation:

Sept. 2001 National Defense Magazine
July 2002 Defense Update magazine
israeli-weapons.com


intelgurl



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