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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Well...actually quite recently and just down the street...Boeing announces 'Laser Gunship' completion
'Tactical' raygun weighs only 20 tonnes

Airliners'n'deathware behemoth Boeing announced yesterday that it had fitted a high-energy laser cannon aboard a C-130 Hercules military cargo plane, creating a "Laser Gunship". The company expects to commence blasting "mission representative" test targets next year, firing deadly energy bolts from a "rotating turret that extends through the aircraft's belly".
Another blow struck for democracy
The rest of the story.

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I'm puzzled by what useful application this has.

In reply to: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

"The ability to knock out a cell tower or a truck silently and precisely from 10km without collateral damage..."

Strikes me that the only time you might need to silently disable a vehicle or knock down communication is for covert activities. Basically, this is just a bog old spy toy.
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reply

In reply to: I'm puzzled by what useful application this has.

I think the only benefit I could see is the 10-20km would be quite a distance and the ray would be much faster than 50/60 Cal's or defensive missiles flying both ways.

I could imagine the folks on the ground wondering "what the hell just happened." Devil

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silently ?

In reply to: I'm puzzled by what useful application this has.

I suppose that's a plus.

Ever seen a PUFF or a C130 in action.....it's awesome.

Ever seen the results on the receiving end....it's catastrophic.

Anything even close....and I use the term close loosely....has a hole in it.

If you take out a truck but also clean out 1/2 the village the local folks get a little miffed.

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True, but the laser gunship has a limited # of shots...

In reply to: silently ?

... especially compared to how many rounds a C130 can lay down. The laser couldn't come close to destroying half a village. I doubt it can be "sprayed" back and forth because it couldn't maintain a sustained blast.

The limited number of shots, the weight of the catalyst, the amount of down time for refitting and maintenance... this is a high maintenance, high cost weapon. Definitely a surgical strike weapon if it actually works under operational conditions.

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The laser couldn't come close to destroying half a village..

In reply to: True, but the laser gunship has a limited # of shots...

That's why it's GOOD! That's what bob b was saying.

It's a brand new thing. Obviously, as it develops it will improve.

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Thank you for stating the obvious.

In reply to: The laser couldn't come close to destroying half a village..

... and I can read what Bob said very clearly.

Wink

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(NT) -chuckle-

In reply to: Thank you for stating the obvious.

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Number of rounds...

In reply to: True, but the laser gunship has a limited # of shots...

First the AC-130 had two 20MM Vulcans (100 rounds a minute) with 3000 rounds. Then they changed them for two 40MM cannons and 256 rounds (late 60's). Then they did a version with a 105MM howitzer and 100 rounds of ammunition.
Oh, Puff had three GE .30 miniguns (4000 rounds a minute each) and carried 24,000 rounds of ammo for them.

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miniguns

In reply to: Number of rounds...

Them mini's are some handy little devils. Devil

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I got to see

In reply to: True, but the laser gunship has a limited # of shots...

from too damn close a PUFF in action.

The target was a group of buildings.

When it was all over the target buildings looked like swiss cheese.

However...objects...use your imagination....that were not even close also had holes in them.

It reminded me of hunting with a shotgun....point it in the general direction...start blasting.

It's a brute force weapon....it has it's place.

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A combination of quick response combined with...

In reply to: I got to see

the force of a air burst cluster bomb... but using dumb projectiles instead.

(shudder)

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Myself I kind of like this little R2-D2

In reply to: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

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is there a home-owner's version?

In reply to: Myself I kind of like this little R2-D2

say a 1/2 million rounds. I like the fact you do not have to police the area for shell casings.

last monday I watched the tv show 'miami csi' which featured something similar called 'the vaporizer'.

CSI Miami: Not Who! What!

http://community.tvguide.com/thread/Csi-Miami/Csi-Miami/800029120

"The star is the electronic weapon, with 100,000 rounds per minute capability, 200 cartridges per shot. The only remains from the first three victims were shoe remnants. The weapon falls into the hands of quasi-gun smugglers, part of a Federal operation, involving Customs, Private Security on Contract (with immunity, of course)."

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