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Thread: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Umm.... no.

    China spends more than we do and so dose Russia. Of course, China as a million badly trained troops. Russia has troops ... but no idea where they all are.
    No they don't.

    US military expenditure is 4.2% of a $14.2 trillion GDP
    China military expenditure is 1.96% of a $4.33 trillion GDP.
    Russia military expenditure is 3.58% of a $1.61 trillion GDP.

    I mean my math isn't the best, but just at a glance we spend more than them in a single quarter.
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Umm.... no.

    China spends more than we do and so dose Russia. Of course, China as a million badly trained troops. Russia has troops ... but no idea where they all are.
    What do you mean Russia has no idea where all their troops are?

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    No they don't.

    US military expenditure is 4.2% of a $14.2 trillion GDP
    China military expenditure is 1.96% of a $4.33 trillion GDP.
    Russia military expenditure is 3.58% of a $1.61 trillion GDP.

    I mean my math isn't the best, but just at a glance we spend more than them in a single quarter.
    That's about 19% of the federal budget.
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    If they could catch all the missiles in boost phase...then great. I suppose this was intended as only part of an ballistic missile or ICBM defense system.
    There are no perfect systems. If they destroy some of the missiles, it is much better than not destroying any of them. This technology needs to progress, it is unsettling that there is little we can do about incoming missiles (especially the nuclear ones).

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD View Post
    The cost. To actually make any use out of these, we will need lots of them. Don't forget also, these things are massive high-tech lasers strapped to the inside of a 737. The amount of money needed to make these things could be used more wisely elsewhere.
    What is the price then?

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Not every military research project is destined, or even designed, for deployment.

    The program served its purpose: figuring out how to hit a ballistic missile in its early boost stage with a laser. The real goal of the program was figuring out the targeting and tracking difficulties. This program, and other laser projects, have solved the targeting issue.

    The next issue to solve is power. How can we deliver the wattage required to destroy the target now that we figured out how to hit it.

    The airborne laser program was canceled because it is based on a chemical laser that is being phased out in favor of different sorts of laser generation. Basically, our military doesn't want the system to be dependent upon "ammunition." The chemicals required to generate a laser of sufficient power are expensive, heavy, and have dangerous exhaust and contamination issues.

    In short, now that we have the delivery method, we just need to figure out the best way to put out X megawatts, however many we decide is enough to destroy an ICBM at sufficient range.

    Until we decide that, spending money on a half-measure is a waste. We are very likely to put a combat laser on an airplane some day, we just need some more work on the laser itself.
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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    I'm trying to figure out... why is this even public information?
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    I'm trying to figure out... why is this even public information?
    Like just about everything else, I would guess at "money." Some people with a lot of power are losing a lot of money with the program's cancellation. They're trying to score political points to create pressure to reinstate the program, possibly.

    Or perhaps it's a political gesture towards Iran and North Korea. "Hey you little bastards, here's what we think of your nuclear missile ambitions."

    *shrug*

    In any case, the program was canceled because our research is moving away from chemical lasers into better methods of laser generation. Once we get that down, we'll be slapping it on EVERYTHING. (In fact, the F-35 is designed to eventually have a laser put in it)
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalGear View Post
    And what exactly is so impracticle about this device?
    Well

    ICBM that this system is meant to destroy can be launched from a variety of locations and generally move at high speeds. As the system targets the missiles in the boost phase, it will require the plane to be in the area of the launch I would guess the effective range would have to be within 1000 miles at most, more likely 500 or less.

    That means the US military will have to have them in the air and in the area where the ICBM is going to be launched ahead of time. Not much of a problem if you are expecting missiles to be launched from say North Korea, a small country boarding the sea where the US can keep the planes flying on a constant basis.

    But if the expectation was China or Russia then the system is a waste. China and Russia are huge countries, who just might not like having US military aircraft flying over their territory (and if it was at a point where the US military could fly over Chinese or Russian territory, the missile would have been launched a fair bit of time before then. Countries like Russia and China also have submarine based ICBM's which of course would require the US to fly over the oceans on a constant basis.

    Overall for the system to be usefull would require a large amount of resources, that the US might be better spending in other areas

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    Re: U.S. successfully tests airborne laser on missile

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalGear View Post
    What is the price then?
    The program has cost us $4billion so far.

    Also, the operating cost of one of these things is $100,000 an hour. Now think about how much it will cost to get enough of these things in the air to protect us from missiles.

    Turns out Obama changed his mind and didn't cancel it once Boeing got their act together and started showing results, but personally I still think it should have been scrapped, the thing is just a money-sucker that won't even do much.

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