Both of these systems use a chemical reaction to generate the laser light in the infrared spectrum (COIL or Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser). The
chemicals present in the system make for a logistical problems as well as a toxic hazard for operators. Now they should be fine as long as the tanks
remain sealed, but in a combat situation, at 10,000 ft, or on the ground in the case of the Avenger, I wouldn't want to be near those things when
they get hit and start to leak. I won't even get into logistics of moving the chemicals to a battle front, or forward airbase. I am unsure of the
purity of the chemicals used, but I would guess that they need to be quite pure to do the job right. Anyone else here know what happens to any
organic compounds that come in contact with 100% hydrogen peroxide?
Taken from: en.wikipedia.org...
"Hydrogen peroxide, either in pure or diluted form, can pose several risks:
* Above roughly 10% concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can give off vapor that can detonate above 50 °C (158 °F) at normal atmospheric
pressure. This can then cause a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE) of the remaining liquid. Distillation of hydrogen
peroxide at normal pressures is thus highly dangerous.
* Hydrogen peroxide vapors can form sensitive contact explosives with hydrocarbons such as greases. Hazardous reactions ranging from ignition to
explosion have been reported with alcohols, ketones, carboxylic acids (particularly acetic acid), amines and phosphorus. The saying
is 'peroxides kill chemists'.
* Hydrogen peroxide, if spilled on clothing (or other flammable materials), will preferentially evaporate water until the concentration reaches
sufficient strength, then clothing will spontaneously ignite.  ;
* Concentrated hydrogen peroxide (>50%) is corrosive, and even domestic-strength solutions can cause irritation to the eyes, mucous membranes and
skin. Swallowing hydrogen peroxide solutions is particularly dangerous, as decomposition in the stomach releases large quantities of gas (10 times
the volume of a 3% solution) leading to internal bleeding. Inhaling over 10% can cause severe pulmonary irritation.
* Low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, on the order of 3% or less, will chemically bleach many types of clothing it comes into contact with to
a pinkish hue. Caution should be exercised when using common products that may contain hydrogen peroxide, such as facial cleaner or contact lens
solution, which easily splatter upon other surfaces.
Hydrogen peroxide is naturally produced as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism, and virtually all organisms possess enzymes known as peroxidases, which
apparently harmlessly catalytically decomposes low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen (see Decomposition above).
In one incident, several people were injured after a hydrogen peroxide spill on board Northwest Airlines Flight 957 because they mistook it for
During the Second World War some extermination camps experimentally killed people with hydrogen peroxide injections.
Hydrogen peroxide was also part of the ingredients in the July 21, 2005 London Underground bombs, which failed to explode.
An MSDS will contain more information on the risks of working with this chemical."
This is the same system that is used in the Boeing 747 YBL project. Another issue is the platform, regardless of size is limited to a certain number
of shots before the chemical reactants are used up and need to be replenished. IIRC I believe it is 6-10 shots for the YBL. The advantage of this
system is that heat removal is relatively easy compared to solid state lasers which have not been made as powerful as chemical lasers like COIL.
Props to the movie reference. One of my favorite Val Kilmer movies!