back to article US gov's flying laser hit by delays, problems

US government researchers have highlighted serious problems with the Pentagon's controversial Airborne Laser (ABL) programme. The ABL project is intended to produce a high-powered, chemically-fuelled laser weapon which would be capable of blasting hostile ballistic missiles out of existence shortly after launch. In order to …

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Stupid yellow car seen speeding from flight line

Two young computer techs wanted for questioning.

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What No X-Wings?

Shame on them - the first step towards a proper space program and they scrap it.

Forget all that space amoeba is alien life junk, sending cameras to Mars or collecting water from the moon - this was the one program with real potential.

I fully expected a personal X-Wings on the used-car lots by the end of the year, followed by light sabres and a holodeck in time for the following Christmas shopping season.

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clearly they've never seen star trek, hooyven glaven!

Humon lazers are never any use against superior foes, only our humanity and ingenuity can yield us victory

anyway, if you look at the previous studies, this technology is rubbish, it just doesn't work, atpmosphere people (even with that adjusting theing they use in telescopes), it might work in space though, but some hacker will take control ala undersiege 2 and destroy the pentagon unless steven segal can stop him, which he can't as he's fat now

the ruskies will develop a mist based shield to defeat it, I'm going to start work on it straight away

you americans should start work on how to defeat people with ak's and rpgs before worrying about no existent missile threats, digital battlefield my arse

you can't even filed bin laden, bring Matlock out of retirement, he'd be able to find him, or jake and the fat man

a tip, he's working in the kebab shop in Stoneybatter

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Anonymous Coward

Cool

Considering all the silly things that the US Govt spends money on it seems to me that an airborne laser is actually worthwhile; if nothing else for the cool factor. Compared to what they are spending on "the war on terror" 12bn is a drop in the bucket and the product actually has a deliverable.

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Hmmm

"In order to get the laser weapon into the vicinity of possible enemy missile silos, it is to be mounted in a 747 jet, one of the few aircraft capable of lifting such bulky machinery."

I have a cunning plan... mount them on trucks!

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Anonymous Coward

They are not targetting liftoff

The airborne lasers have never been intended to target the liftoff of the missiles. They try to shoot down the missile when it approaches the destination. If it is launched in any of the "usual suspects" countries and targets the continental U.S, it gives them about 30 minutes to scramble the 747 after a suspicious missile is launched. If you happen to be in Europe (or another location) all you can do is hope that the guidance is off or that the trigger does not work.

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Only One Problem Left

After reading the full report, the only problem I see is the weight of the fresh seawater on the plane which is used to keep the shark happy. The shark on which the frikkin' laser is mounted (for optimal targeting purposes). Read the original brief, people - don't make me extract that one critical nugget of information for you. I have seawater pumps to upgrade.

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Only One Problem Left

After reading the full report, the only problem I see is the weight of the fresh seawater on the plane which is used to keep the shark happy. The shark on which the frikkin' laser is mounted (for optimal targeting purposes). Read the original brief, people - don't make me extract that one critical nugget of information for you. I have seawater pumps to upgrade.

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No such thing

....as credit for trying - at least among Reg readers, anyway.

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Can anyone say...

...birdstrike? Or, 'stupid, pointless boondoggle'?

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AW&ST

It's not called Av Leak for nothing.

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Sick of this brand of swill

Right lasers in converted passenger aircraft not a complete walkover for any sam you can mention even countries like Iran can shoot down this thing easily. We have crowd frying microwaves (not too good against bullets or rocks) what else can these completely stupid assholes come up with that makes the US look worse than it is honest were not all this dumb

well Im not anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Lasers are so yesterday

We want phasers and photon torpedoes.

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@Alan Donaly

Do you know what you're blathering about? It doesn't appear that you have the background to offer any reasoned criticism.

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Rob

What's wrong with you people...

.... this maybe a useless idea for defence against missiles, but I'm sure if you got some big enough speakers and a quality DJ, a field full of ravers and then hire this bad boy laser display show to light up the sky for you, be one of the best clubbing events going wouldn't it?

Granted it would be awhile before the US would get their money back, I'm only thinking of hire cost of about £200 per hour.

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Rob . . .

For £200 you might get three seconds . . . if the government was willing to subsidize it!

P.S. Does anyone know for how many seconds it can fire before running out of the chemical fuel? Or is that classified?

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Silver badge

Captain! We need more dilithium crystals!

Photon torpedos are much more effective, as Captain Kirk will tell you ;)

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