US Navy boffins last week carried out their first test of a raygun mounted on a warship, using the beam to blast a small rigid-inflatable boat and set its engines on fire. The boat-blaster trial comes as part of the Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) programme run by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR). It took place near San …
No "frickin laser" today? The Register is getting serious.
USS Paul Foster?
Ha! I knew UFO was real...
You missed the key question
Is the current technology suitable for cranial implantation in sharks yet?
Bring back the battleships!
We want eight and we won't wait!
Cue lame and unfunny geek jokes about sharks.
For even attempting a "First" post.
Youtube and kiddy forums are That way>>>
First post was by Black Sea navy 30 years ago
That is the _SECOND_ laser gunboat test.
The first one was nearly 30 years ago on the Black Sea. It was a chemical laser though :(
"as an alternative to blasting them to scrap with regular guns straight off"
If they blew them out of the water, perhaps the number of pirates would decrease...
No fire with smoke?
Top secret kinetic energy weapon
The Royal Navy is beginning trials of a top secret kinetic energy weapon
It will fire a spherical Ballistic Action Launch Load into the enemy vessel at super-clarkson speed. They should be able to deal with targets this size with a single shot
The kinetic energy generation system is smaller than the laser and uses a loading and targeting system that is completely immune to computer failures and ECM.
It is believed that because of the lower electrical power demands even the new class of small warships will be able to carry hundreds of individual launchers .
To reduce radar cross-section, susceptibility to magnetic mines and reliance on fueling, a series of new natural organic composite hulled warships with a wind power system is envisioned to carry the new weapons.
apparantly the crew are fed a different diet comprising of high citrus and fermented molasses to increase morale.
And a bottle of rum as a suitable beverage.
Last I checked....
"The kinetic energy generation system is smaller than the laser and uses a loading and targeting system that is completely immune to computer failures and ECM."
Doesn't the launcher rails destroy themselves after about 3 shots?
"Doesn't the launcher rails destroy themselves after about 3 shots?"
"It is believed that because of the lower electrical power demands even the new class of small warships will be able to carry hundreds of individual launchers "
rather than changing the magazine like with conventional weapons, they will just change the gun!
And because of the reduced spatial requirement for the new weapons, naval personnel will have the added advantage of not having to share sleeping berths (hot bunking). They will get their own personal space sleeping module made of non-synthetic, washable material that can be stowed away to create a pleasant, more spacious working environment when not in use.
The launchers are also ideally sized for occasional use as a table base for refreshments and board games and, due to their weight and overall sturdiness, they are also ideal as a support whilst taking a cabin-boy up the arse.
It's long past time for a new Geneva Convention to ban weapons like this along with unstaffed aerial vehicles.
I'd say the ban should extend to "any weapon where you cannot see directly that the enemy combatant you are about to kill or maim is a human being".
Will this apply to all weapon systems, or just those invented recently? Personally, I'd like all distance killing systems banned - from the slingshot up to the ICBM.
Get Terrorist, like Pirates, to buy into this then I might agree.
Collateral deaths are, sadly, an inevitable consequence of war. We hear more about them these days but they've always happened. Also, the bangs tend to be bigger these days?
Actually, if the engine of a go-fast boat can be blown up rather than the entire boat and contents itself it may well result in a diminished loss of life?? That being said our Transoceanic allies sometimes have trouble hitting barn doors with banjos.....
Then anyone who decided not to play by the rules would be in for an easy win. For starters you've just tried to outlaw most forms of aerial attack that don't put the aircraft in danger, submarines or any weapon that can take out a tank.
Except that this is about *not* killing the targets immediately.
"The idea is to tickle up pirates, smugglers, suicide boats etc with relatively gentle sizzle-beams as an alternative to blasting them to scrap with regular guns straight off."
Man, I sure hope the terrorists get the memo...
Let's see here... that would mean:
No armed aircraft, submarines, or ships.
No long-range weapons (including tanks, mortars, missiles, railguns, lasers, etc.).
No mines, grenades, or other explosives.
No anti-vehicle weapons (land, sea, or air).
No automated defenses.
In other words, anyone complying with that rule would be completely screwed. There would be no way to protect against someone attacking you with a missile, and no way to retaliate without crossing their (presumably heavily mined) borders, or parachuting inside (while dodging anti-aircraft fire, of course). Meanwhile, since they have ignored the Geneva Convention, they get to bombard you with missiles, drop bombs from above with impunity, and mine, shell, or otherwise damage from afar until they are the only ones left.
Oh, and one more thing - no RC airplanes. The hobbyists will hate you.
You can have RC planes
As long as they don't have weapons systems fitted.
@A J Stiles
Are you complaining that people may fire these weapons at robots and kill them? Indeed, it is cruel to our robot slaves that we put them in these situations.
Or are you referring to the poor pigeons in torpedoes? I don't think they put them in any more, I think they use the aforementioned robots instead.
If you're complaining about weapons that kill then if it were an ideal world I would agree with you -- but weapons like this are no worse than any other and weapons have always been designed to kill or, more desirably*, maim the enemy whether they want you to or not. In most cases, in fact, many of the combatants may not really want to be there at all. Perhaps we should ban ignorant, warmongering politicians rather than weapons like this? Oops, we did, but it didn't work.
*From the perspective of someone who wants to win and end a war, rather than an immediate moral perspective of course.
"I'd say the ban should extend to "any weapon where you cannot see directly that the enemy combatant you are about to kill or maim is a human being"."
Likely desired so that he can say a quick "Hail Mary" before he's jibbified?
Actually, the bangs tend to be smaller and
more precisely targeted.
Cease and Desist
Our Client, Archimedes of Syracuse, wishes us to inform you that he holds relevant IP patents pertaining to; "The use of directed energy weapons to burn enemy ships".
We would ask that you refrain from further development and / or use of your infringing system until such time as mutually agreeable licensing terms are agreed.
Yours; Nickitt, Troll and Gouge, IP attorneys at law.
Government lawyers note that Archimedes of Syracuse's claim to ownership has lapsed due to millenia of failure to defend his claim.
Further, it has been recently discovered that Archimedes is believed to be dead, and thus unable to depose or call as a witness.
Archimedes IP Troll
Always trying to screw someone.
Isn't that the entire point of government lawyers..?
@TeeCee Regards your official notice from Nickitt, Troll and Gouge, IP attorneys at law
Pursuant to your notice of 11-April-2011 14:39 GMT, our staff researchers have looked into your claim of prior IP patents. We find no references in the current databases, although we confess it is possible this is likely a result of the sacking of the Library at Alexandria when many legal records were lost. Please provide a notarized copy of the originally issued patent so we may further examine your claim. If a copy of the original notice is not available, please provide a copy of the original submission along with the working model which would have been required at the time the patent was filed,
Yours truly, Bargle and Snarck, attorneys, DARPA Research Annex, US Navy, USA
Is that it?
Pah. Am thoroughly disappointed. Reminds me of that scene from Hypderdrive. Face our beam of death. Hold still, this will take 10 years to kill you!
re "Is that it?"
sorry to be a train-spotter, but I think you meant the Queppu "Doom Ray" which only took "under 3 days" to disintegrate you....
Stand still will you!!
[I'll take my Anorak now, and go and marvel at something]
Halfords to the rescue...
...you could put out that fire with a 20 quid fire extinguisher.
<-- Grenade: probably a more effective way of sinking a rubber dinghy.
Fire extinguishers, however...
Don't work so well, when they've had a hole burned through them with a laser.
Motors? Try meat.
I somehow doubt these lasers will used to start fires on pirate boats - the dwell time to ignite a flame retardant plastic housing is significant. However, the time required to permanently blind a pirate with a laser like that is probably measured in milliseconds. Blinding aside, a 15kW laser could probaly cause excruciating burns nearly instantly. Now, I ask you, which is the military more likely to target; the motor - or the meat?
4 Watts hurt
Years back We had a 4 watt solid state 1550nm laser in the lab that would shut off randomly and we would put our hand in front of the aperature to test for emission. If you kept your hand moving it would feel warm but if you held it still for too long... A burning pain would develop faster than your brain could move your hand out of the way. This laser power and wavelength did not cause tissue damage though, just hurt like hell.
I could be wrong but...
I believe lasers intended to blind are one weapon class that is outlawed. Not sure where/in what agreements, but probably in the same vein as landmines, ABMs and nukes in space. However, I also believe that this agreement has in fact been pretty widely respected (landmines are still deemed OK by the US and China).
I would say let sleeping dogs lie. The military gain from implementing blinding lasers would not be that great, compared to the human suffering and breakdown of trust ensuing.
All very well not having laser weapons with the primary function being ocular damage.
Remember cluster and phosphorus bombs? Some sadistic arsehole will always be in a position to pull the trigger and post the results on facebook.
history... rinse and repeat
Hey, wait before you reach for the tax payer provided pork-o-bank cheque book to buy your new fleet. Don't forget to check beneath the waves for those pesky u-boats. Lasers don't work any where nearly as well through water. Your hypersonic slugs won't make it much further either....
This is why...
We use submarines to defend high-value 'targets.*' All we need now is to build a fleet of highly capable hunter-killer boats... Oh, wait. there they are, sitting in the harbor, ready to go!
*To a submariner, there are two kinds of naval vessels - other submarines, and 'Targets.'
other submariners who want to use the toilet?
Handy dandy that the engine casing was a nice non-reflective matt black. If this ever, and it's a long ever, gets deployed I suspect that white or shiny casings will be very popular.
The pirate about town of tomorrow who wants to be noticed but not overdone can't fail to impress in this outfit inspired by a Christmas turkey. He's modelling a fashionable ensemble of Bacofoil pants and hoodie charmingly offset by these risque welding goggles. Trust me it'll be 'hello sailor' on the yardarm tonight.
Did he say "scalable options"?
Having just watched the excellent http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6995033/mongo-db-is-web-scale linked from Stob's latest outpouring (also excellent), I must say I find this scalability thing most disturbing coming from a military type person talking about weapons systems.
Black engines I See
so it would make sense to paint your boat and engines white or light blue......
Mankind has finally managed to set the plastic case of a boat engine on fire using a laser!!!!
What an achievement!
I declare us ready for the interplanetary wars now!
Bring 'em on!
Lets hope the enemy dont have a mirror...