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back to article R2-D2 robots with frikkin lasers on them in development

Momentous news from the world of rayguns today. While the keenly anticipated hat-mounted laser cannon for pool sharks has yet to hit the consumer market, the Reg can reveal that the US military is working on a deadly beam weapon mounted on an R2-D2 robot. The Phalanx robotic gun-turret in action Not all that much like R2-D2, …

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Coat

MORE COWBELL

Frikkin awesome!!!

Mines the one covered in mirrors

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Anonymous Coward

Great weapon... not.

>we speak here of the "Phalanx" naval automatic gatling cannon installation, able to blast incoming missiles from the sky with a hail of radar-directed armour piercing shells before they can strike its parent ship

Able, but not willing.. So far it's shot down an A6 and peppered a warship.. both American.

Still, as it is American Lewis is hardly going to question it's effectiveness...

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Ray
Black Helicopters

physics

"The robo-raygun defences would be an ideal counter to laser-packing sharks unleashed by troublesome submarine dwelling supervillains, for instance."

orly? diffraction could turn out to be of great assistance to the selachimorphan overlord's nefarious plans, methinks.

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Silver badge
Coat

Ahem!

"mounted on an R2-D2 robot."

You can't have 'an' R2-D2. That's one specific robot. The generic model is "an R2 unit".

Yes, of course it's the anorak.

(Note the incredible technology involved - R2 units were common items even on obscure backwater planets, yet could be individually distinguished using only a two character code.

And all ultra-high security installations were fitted with a special interface so that this extremely common model of droid could over-ride all the security in a few seconds).

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ian
Bronze badge
Joke

Re "peppering the entire local neighbourhood with cannon shells"

Tut, tut. The Phalanx only has a range of what, 7Km? Beyond that its safe as houses. Try to be less negative Lewis.

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Silver badge
Coat

Bad Lewis

"The robo-raygun defences would be an ideal counter to laser-packing sharks unleashed by troublesome submarine dwelling supervillains, for instance"

No, it probably wouldn't. Too small a target, too likely to get very very near before being detected (and too unlikely to be detected at all in the first place). Not to mention the refraction at the air/water interface. Sharks:1 R2D2s: 0

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Happy

Crappest headline award.. Finalist.

Scorchio!

Finally, a headline that is almost 100% at odds with the story content. Take out R2D2, lasers, and robots, and what are we left with. Not phalanx or goalkeeper guns. In the main the story is an incisive, insightful piece.

Of bollocks! Hehe.

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Pirate

Daleks

I know in the RAN the phalanx is known as the dalek.

Much more appropriate surely?

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Pirate

Ain't that the CWIS?

I don't remember the meaning of the acronym, but I liked the nickname based on the acronym SO MUCH...

"Christ -It -Won't -Shoot"

A Jolly Roger because, er... pirates?

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Silver badge

Gaza?

Would Phalanx be more effective at countering home-made Hamas missiles than invading Gaza with tanks and shooting civilians?

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Coat

Grab your gun and bring the cat in

>> Would Phalanx be more effective at countering home-made Hamas missiles than invading Gaza with tanks and shooting civilians?

AFAIK, the Israels are helpfully kicking back their US-donated money by implementing something called "Iron Dome" (also involving lasers or some other failtech? Anyway it doesn't work)

>> And all ultra-high security installations were fitted with a special interface so that this extremely common model of droid could over-ride all the security in a few seconds

Note that D2 _did_ come from a royal household.

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Thumb Up

So...

Does it work on Pigeons?

If so, where do I order one...

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Unhappy

Cynical response

"Would Phalanx be more effective at countering home-made Hamas missiles than invading Gaza with tanks and shooting civilians?"

Yes, but no so much fun for the IDF this close to elections...

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Pirate

Gaza

I suggest placing Phalanx on zeppelins above Gaza so that stupid palestinians will be turned into farce-meat the same (or several milliseconds after the) moment they fire their "mortar shells or rockets" in Israel direction.

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Coat

Er

Yet again, I bring up MTHEL, mobile laser array that shoots down incoming mortar an artillery rounds. Big and bulky when they stopped the programme but for a frigate/army base.. I'm sure they can spare the space.

Not sure of the operational radius of the MTHEL (aka Nautilus), but I'm sure having one at opposite ends of a small base, or at the corners of a large base would be sufficient.

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Paris Hilton

@Christoph

I thought Obi-Wan's astromech droid on his Aersprite snubfighter in Ep2 was R4-P17 or something like that? But generally, I also thought the "R2D2" designation was for the entire line of that particular variant of the droid, compared to R2D1, R2D3, etc. but since we never see two identical R2 units interact and named we don't know if that is canon.

Artoo's amazing code breaking skills came from the fact he never got his memory wiped, so accumulated huge amounts of experience and nous compared to the standard R2 units - notice at the end of Ep3 Organa gets C3PO wiped but not R2, which is why the speaking member of the pair doesn't recognise anyone or anywhere in Ep4-6, but the wee fella does. He basically lives through the entire, tumultuous events of the last days of the Republic, the Clone Wars and the Rebellion and is the real hero of the movie series... not bad for a rolling dustbin with pr0n plastered on the inside of his dome!

@Allan Dyer

I believe the Israeli Defence Force put a tender out for battlefield laser anti-missile defences last year, and are looking at the US Army version of the vehicle mounted laser.

http://www.spacewar.com/news/laser-04r.html

Even Paris recognises droid from a ring found in the desert.

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Silver badge
Flame

Phallanx?

Surely that should be "Phallus"?

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Coat

@ Ain't that the CWIS?

You were nearly right its with the acronym Its actually C.I.W.S. or Close In Weapon System or as you nearly rightly said...

Crap It Won´t Shoot!!!

Mines the Navy Blue one... with the epaulettes and scrambled egg..

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@Allan

Precisely!

...as long as their worked...

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Coat

Invisible Death

My only concern is that all these sooper-dooper beams of destruction will be invisible infra-red, and as one accustomed to various colours (red, green, purple, coruscating rainbows, etc.) of light-sabre/phaser/disrupter/etc. can I make a plea for them to include some visible tracer?

Otherwise it's going to look incredibly dull on TV.

And - Think Of The Children! How will they be able to sleep after watching all that gratuitous death and destruction if things just seem to explode/burst into flames for no apparent reason.

PS The obvious countermeasure is akin to the Russian high-speed super-cavitating torpedo - incoming just creates a plasma shield that defence beams end up dumping their energy into and reinforcing.

...the one with the tinfoil helmet built into the hood...

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Go

Fallout 3

Not long now till we have Gatling lasers!

I can picture the Jesse Ventura character in a future Hollywood remake of Predator wielding one of these bad boys. "I aint got time to bleed".

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Thumb Down

Peppering US Warships

Indeed as one poster commented, the only time Phalanx was ever used in anger it shot up an adjacent warship, completely missing the incoming Styx missile. That was blasted out of the sky by a Sea Dart from a Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer. But then an American system failing, with the cavalry coming over the hill in the shape of a product from the British defence industry doesn't make for such a good story.

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