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(Al Jazeera)   US Navy to deploy new futuristic laser gun that will be able to shoot planes out of the sky, sharks armed with lasers out of the sea   (america.aljazeera.com) divider line 52
    More: Interesting, navies, laser guns, Naval Sea Systems Command, Lexington Institute, hypersonic speeds, USS Ponce  
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1488 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Feb 2014 at 10:29 AM (23 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-18 10:20:47 AM
Sorry, subby... USS SHARK was decomm'ed in 1990.

And before you ask, we haven't had a USS BASS since 1945, ill-tempered or not.
 
2014-02-18 10:37:03 AM
Shouldn't the military show they can win wars with the weapons they have before we rush out and buy them new weapons?
 
2014-02-18 10:46:16 AM

Muta: Shouldn't the military show they can win wars with the weapons they have before we rush out and buy them new weapons?


The laser system is designed to replace the CIWS which while effective is an expensive and complicated machine.  The threats projected against our surface combatants fall into two basic categories:
1. The anti-ship cruise missile, singly or barrage.  The CIWS was designed for this, although the new-generation weapons being deployed by China and sold by Russia demand a higher standard of protection.
2. The swarm of small gunboats, an Iranian strategy in the Strait of Hormuz.  The CIWS could work in this situation but it is not what it was designed for.

The loss of any warship is a massive expense, and the maintenance of CIWS is also very significant in its expense.  You also have the problem of flying projectiles that miss, although they've retired the DU rounds (toxic, heavy metal) for tungsten.
 
2014-02-18 11:10:22 AM
The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.
 
2014-02-18 11:16:26 AM
But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.


Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.
 
2014-02-18 11:20:29 AM

bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.


Yeah...because rain and dust doesn't affect the accuracy of past and current weapons technology.
 
2014-02-18 11:20:52 AM
Surprising number of laser and naval warfare experts in this thread.
 
2014-02-18 11:21:04 AM

Muta: Shouldn't the military show they can win wars with the weapons they have before we rush out and buy them new weapons?


The laser weapon is FAR cheaper to shoot.

It's value engineering.
 
2014-02-18 11:22:17 AM

bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.



I know that scientists, engineers, and military tactical experts with decades of experience all think this is a good idea, but it YOU don't like it then I guess it is a bad idea.
 
2014-02-18 11:24:43 AM
We've had this for years, it's one of the SDI moneypits that Ronald Reagan hath wrought.
 
2014-02-18 11:26:46 AM

bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.


Since we do not know the performance reduction due to rain/sleet/duct/turbulence it is hard to determine if is a waste of money.

If the time to destroy a target is increased form 4 seconds to 6 seconds that is still a useful weapon system and can still shoot down incoming missiles and planes. If the shoot down time is increased to 40 seconds then we have a problem.

I can see significant improvments in having the laser system over the CIWS. Ammunition and physical maintenance come to mind. If the whole unit is solid state there are very few moving parts to be be serviced or replaced. The lack of ammunition frees up space and weight that can be dedicated to other systems on the ship.
 
2014-02-18 11:27:34 AM
USS 'Ponce'? Really?

/British Naval Command laughing their arses off...
 
2014-02-18 11:27:39 AM
Just as long as the gunner goes "PEW PEW PEW" when firing.
 
2014-02-18 11:29:48 AM

Elfich: bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.

Since we do not know the performance reduction due to rain/sleet/duct/turbulence it is hard to determine if is a waste of money.

If the time to destroy a target is increased form 4 seconds to 6 seconds that is still a useful weapon system and can still shoot down incoming missiles and planes. If the shoot down time is increased to 40 seconds then we have a problem.

I can see significant improvments in having the laser system over the CIWS. Ammunition and physical maintenance come to mind. If the whole unit is solid state there are very few moving parts to be be serviced or replaced. The lack of ammunition frees up space and weight that can be dedicated to other systems on the ship.


thinking of CIWS, if it does have a fast refire rate for the laser,  it might survive the missile swarm from Red Storm Rising as well as the Iranian idea of sending 100s of speed boats
 
2014-02-18 11:30:19 AM

Muta: The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.


How do you think any nation would do with WWI naval technology vs the US Navy? Would Dreadnought class battleships steaming in formation and relying on splashes for targeting do anything against cruise missiles, homing torpedoes, radar directed artillery fire, and air strikes from super sonic jets? And those are all 50 year old technologies.

Muta: Shouldn't the military show they can win wars with the weapons they have before we rush out and buy them new weapons?


By that logic do we have to prove we can win with smooth bore cannons and rifles before upgrading?   

SpectroBoy: bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.


I know that scientists, engineers, and military tactical experts with decades of experience all think this is a good idea, but it YOU don't like it then I guess it is a bad idea.


This.
 
2014-02-18 11:37:00 AM

Muta: Shouldn't the military show they can win wars with the weapons they have before we rush out and buy them new weapons?


I'm thinking you don't understand basic priniciples of war, the first of which is never fight fair, and the second of which is always have a bigger stick than the other guy.
 
2014-02-18 11:40:32 AM

Elfich: Since we do not know the performance reduction due to rain/sleet/duct/turbulence it is hard to determine if is a waste of money.

If the time to destroy a target is increased form 4 seconds to 6 seconds that is still a useful weapon system and can still shoot down incoming missiles and planes. If the shoot down time is increased to 40 seconds then we have a problem.

I can see significant improvments in having the laser system over the CIWS. Ammunition and physical maintenance come to mind. If the whole unit is solid state there are very few moving parts to be be serviced or replaced. The lack of ammunition frees up space and weight that can be dedicated to other systems on the ship.


The lasers are also getting adaptive optics that compensate for a lot of this. Something tells me they've thought all this through a lot more than we have.

RaiderFanMikeP: thinking of CIWS, if it does have a fast refire rate for the laser,  it might survive the missile swarm from Red Storm Rising as well as the Iranian idea of sending 100s of speed boats


I think that's what they're going for. But a swarm of hypersonic sea skimmers will give any laser system a run for it's money. Lasers can't shoot over the horizon so by swarming with minimal engagement time you might be able to overcome it. But that's ignoring that the Navy's not replacing a single VLS cell with a laser.

The RSR idea depended on drawing the defense off axis and forcing it to expend its first layer uselessly then swarming. The laser, as proposed, is just a replacement for the last layer of defense.

\I really wish they'd make an HBO series on RSR - either as the original idea or updated as the original idea of a terrorist group strangling a major economy to the point of war still holds true.
 
2014-02-18 11:46:19 AM
How does this work against thick armor? You know, like the kind you might find on the sides of very large naval vessels.

You didn't think your cunning plan through. Not to mention there's something nice about the transfer of momentum versus the transfer of heat. One is a little more "real world" in its results regardless of the surface shape or material.
 
2014-02-18 11:46:51 AM

MadMattressMack: Muta: The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.

How do you think any nation would do with WWI naval technology vs the US Navy? Would Dreadnought class battleships steaming in formation and relying on splashes for targeting do anything against cruise missiles, homing torpedoes, radar directed artillery fire, and air strikes from super sonic jets? And those are all 50 year old technologies.

Muta: Shouldn't the military show they can win wars with the weapons they have before we rush out and buy them new weapons?

By that logic do we have to prove we can win with smooth bore cannons and rifles before upgrading?    SpectroBoy: bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.


I know that scientists, engineers, and military tactical experts with decades of experience all think this is a good idea, but it YOU don't like it then I guess it is a bad idea.

This.


FWIW, the 120mm Rheinmetall main gun on the Abrams is smoothbore. Not your point, I know, but I don't think anyone would argue that the Abrams is not effective. Granted it isn't built for urban combat, but there is a canister round for it that is basically a giant claymore, and it is devastating against massed infantry and light fortifications.
 
2014-02-18 11:50:01 AM
They don't have the gay laser.
 
2014-02-18 11:50:59 AM

bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.


Vast amounts of electricity, you say... Like, say, the vast amounts you'd find on a boat powered by a nuclear reactor vast?
 
2014-02-18 11:55:40 AM
RaiderFanMikeP:
thinking of CIWS, if it does have a fast refire rate for the laser,  it might survive the missile swarm from Red Storm Rising as well as the Iranian idea of sending 100s of speed boats

At best we can spit ball. It comes down to the close rate of the missiles and how long it takes for the laser kill a missile. It is just a question of how many missiles need to be fired at a ship to overwhelm the screens and allow the first past the missile screens.

If it takes 5 seconds to kill a missile and the missile has a one minute flight time, the ship can kill twelve simultaneously fired missiles before one gets through. I'm ignoring all sorts of complications (IFF, radar counter measures, missiles that stay low to the curvature of the earth to prevent detection, recycle time on the missile screens, etc etc etc etc) to this discussion.
 
2014-02-18 12:00:42 PM

Towermonkey: MadMattressMack: Muta: The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.

How do you think any nation would do with WWI naval technology vs the US Navy? Would Dreadnought class battleships steaming in formation and relying on splashes for targeting do anything against cruise missiles, homing torpedoes, radar directed artillery fire, and air strikes from super sonic jets? And those are all 50 year old technologies.

Muta: Shouldn't the military show they can win wars with the weapons they have before we rush out and buy them new weapons?

By that logic do we have to prove we can win with smooth bore cannons and rifles before upgrading?    SpectroBoy: bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.


I know that scientists, engineers, and military tactical experts with decades of experience all think this is a good idea, but it YOU don't like it then I guess it is a bad idea.

This.

FWIW, the 120mm Rheinmetall main gun on the Abrams is smoothbore. Not your point, I know, but I don't think anyone would argue that the Abrams is not effective. Granted it isn't built for urban combat, but there is a canister round for it that is basically a giant claymore ...


Now a floating claymore might be something to take out swarms of missiles and small craft. Small things that explode very early in a combat situation. I think the USN used to call those frigates.
 
2014-02-18 12:07:42 PM

Muta: The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.


So, it's your opinion that we should have engaged the enemy in a war, and not another politicized police action?

Because the US is very good at the former, and not very good at the latter.  We always seem seem to get confused at some point in the process.  Wars are for killing, not making friends or media ops.
 
2014-02-18 12:11:03 PM

Towermonkey: FWIW, the 120mm Rheinmetall main gun on the Abrams is smoothbore. Not your point, I know, but I don't think anyone would argue that the Abrams is not effective. Granted it isn't built for urban combat, but there is a canister round for it that is basically a giant claymore, and it is devastating against massed infantry and light fortifications.


Yeah, I thought about that after I posted. I should've said something to identify it as muzzle loading as there are current smooth bore artillery guns in use.

I've seen the video of the guy blowing a suicide vest on an Abrams in Iraq and it wasn't completely useless. But the idea it was designed for (operating against other MBTs in Europe) is a pretty dead idea. The tungsten canister round has a problem with it not stopping at the first house it's fired at. You can't really use the main gun in an urban environment.

That's why they're not building any more Abrams but they're building MRAPs like crazy. A light APC with a mounted .50 backing up infantry is more appropriate for fighting guerrilla warfare.  The planners after the end of the Cold War didn't know what would happen next so they kept planning for waves of T-72s and T-80s in Germany.
 
2014-02-18 12:12:57 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Now a floating claymore might be something to take out swarms of missiles and small craft. Small things that explode very early in a combat situation. I think the USN used to call those frigates.


Those were called CVEs - Combustible, Vulnerable, Expendable. Lots of gasoline and no armor.
 
2014-02-18 12:13:46 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: How does this work against thick armor? You know, like the kind you might find on the sides of very large naval vessels.

You didn't think your cunning plan through. Not to mention there's something nice about the transfer of momentum versus the transfer of heat. One is a little more "real world" in its results regardless of the surface shape or material.


If you are close enough to an enemy ship that you can see it by eye you have real problems because you are already in range of the battleships and missile cruisers. The age when ships could see each other and would slug it out, died the moment planes could be launched from flat tops.

For the sake of argument you have a laser system and you plan on using it against a heavily armored ship that you have line of sight to: Burn off all of the sensitive sensor bits that have to remain exposed (radar, communications antennas, satellite dishes, smoke signal dispenser, etc.) If you effectively blind the ship you have crippled it and can deal with it later.

If you are thinking of punching through heavy ship armor you need missiles, battleship guns or rail guns. Missiles are what we are shooting down with the lasers. Battleships (As impressive as they are) have a range limit of 70-100 nautical miles and never get a chance to fire in a modern sea battle because planes and missiles have already been pounding them. Rail guns are still experimental, theoretically they have a range triple that of traditional battleships and have enough kinetic power to punch through enemy armor and have enough speed and mass to not be chewed up by lasers or CIWS in the time it takes to close with the target.
 
2014-02-18 12:16:40 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: How does this work against thick armor? You know, like the kind you might find on the sides of very large naval vessels.

You didn't think your cunning plan through. Not to mention there's something nice about the transfer of momentum versus the transfer of heat. One is a little more "real world" in its results regardless of the surface shape or material.


Your question is a red herring.  The laser system, as discussed above, is a replacement for CIWS, which is primarily an anti-missile defense, with secondary capabilities against small craft and aircraft (that don't get close to naval ships in modern combat, but it'll chew 'em up good).  None of those are particularly armored; certainly not missiles.

Ship-to-ship combat is a missile game, with the 5"/54cal gun as a backup.  The rail gun would be a replacement for that.
 
2014-02-18 12:17:29 PM

TheYeti: Muta: The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.

So, it's your opinion that we should have engaged the enemy in a war, and not another politicized police action?

Because the US is very good at the former, and not very good at the latter.  We always seem seem to get confused at some point in the process.  Wars are for killing, not making friends or media ops.


I would have to say if the 10 year war in Iraq and the one in Afghanistan was prosecuted like the early war on the Taliban was, we would have been in Iraq for a couple of weeks then left.

We killed the original flavor of the Taliban with a relatively small number of military  on the ground and lots of bombers in the air. It's only when we decided to fight a 10 year oil war in Iraq that we lost our way. Where's a good LeMay when you need one?
 
2014-02-18 12:20:22 PM

Elfich: TheShavingofOccam123: How does this work against thick armor? You know, like the kind you might find on the sides of very large naval vessels.

You didn't think your cunning plan through. Not to mention there's something nice about the transfer of momentum versus the transfer of heat. One is a little more "real world" in its results regardless of the surface shape or material.

If you are close enough to an enemy ship that you can see it by eye you have real problems because you are already in range of the battleships and missile cruisers. The age when ships could see each other and would slug it out, died the moment planes could be launched from flat tops.

For the sake of argument you have a laser system and you plan on using it against a heavily armored ship that you have line of sight to: Burn off all of the sensitive sensor bits that have to remain exposed (radar, communications antennas, satellite dishes, smoke signal dispenser, etc.) If you effectively blind the ship you have crippled it and can deal with it later.

If you are thinking of punching through heavy ship armor you need missiles, battleship guns or rail guns. Missiles are what we are shooting down with the lasers. Battleships (As impressive as they are) have a range limit of 70-100 nautical miles and never get a chance to fire in a modern sea battle because planes and missiles have already been pounding them. Rail guns are still experimental, theoretically they have a range triple that of traditional battleships and have enough kinetic power to punch through enemy armor and have enough speed and mass to not be chewed up by lasers or CIWS in the time it takes to close with the target.


The laser system is for engaging aircraft, missiles and light boats only. I don't think they're envisioning laser broadsides battles with battleships with the tactic of crossing the enemy's T happening again. The larger, armored ships are still destined for missiles and torpedoes with the addition of rail guns. Supposedly the rail gun rounds will be guided as well so it's just a cheap missile where the momentum comes from electricity generated on the launching ship instead of a rocket motor on the rear.
 
2014-02-18 12:24:44 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: TheYeti: Muta: The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.

So, it's your opinion that we should have engaged the enemy in a war, and not another politicized police action?

Because the US is very good at the former, and not very good at the latter.  We always seem seem to get confused at some point in the process.  Wars are for killing, not making friends or media ops.

I would have to say if the 10 year war in Iraq and the one in Afghanistan was prosecuted like the early war on the Taliban was, we would have been in Iraq for a couple of weeks then left.

We killed the original flavor of the Taliban with a relatively small number of military  on the ground and lots of bombers in the air. It's only when we decided to fight a 10 year oil war in Iraq that we lost our way. Where's a good LeMay when you need one?


As opposed to Germany and Japan, which we promptly pulled out of following the end of hostilities in WWII. If anything we needed to stay there a lot longer but we forget that wars have clean ups that last decades if you want a lasting peace and stable country.
 
2014-02-18 12:25:56 PM
MadMattressMack:
The laser system is for engaging aircraft, missiles and light boats only. I don't think they're envisioning laser broadsides battles with battleships with the tactic of crossing the enemy's T happening again. The larger, armored ships are still destined for missiles and torpedoes with the addition of rail guns ...

I'm in agreement. I was just pointing out the absurdity of attempting to get in visual contact of an enemy ship, let along shoot it with a laser cannon and expect to do anything other than superficial damage to it.
 
2014-02-18 12:29:33 PM

Elfich: MadMattressMack:
The laser system is for engaging aircraft, missiles and light boats only. I don't think they're envisioning laser broadsides battles with battleships with the tactic of crossing the enemy's T happening again. The larger, armored ships are still destined for missiles and torpedoes with the addition of rail guns ...

I'm in agreement. I was just pointing out the absurdity of attempting to get in visual contact of an enemy ship, let along shoot it with a laser cannon and expect to do anything other than superficial damage to it.


I know, I was just responding inline to the post you were responding to and expanding on it. My fark etiquette is off today.
 
2014-02-18 12:33:46 PM
MadMattressMack:
I know, I was just responding inline to the post you were responding to and expanding on it. My fark etiquette is off today.

No sweat. The three day weekend has everyone here thinking its Monday.
 
2014-02-18 01:19:13 PM

BalugaJoe: They don't have the gay laser.


No, but the Navy's gaydar is a finely tuned moisture seeking guided missile.
 
2014-02-18 01:34:15 PM

bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.


Are the Navy ditching all their missiles because they got a fancy new laser system? No? So they'll still be able to shoot down planes when the laser isn't the optimal solution?

That's what I thought.
 
2014-02-18 02:13:57 PM

RaiderFanMikeP: Elfich: bdub77: But both systems have shortcomings.
Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it's raining, if it's dusty or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.
"The Navy says it's found ways to deal with use of lasers in bad weather, but there's little doubt that the range of the weapon would be reduced by clouds, dust or precipitation," he said.

Because there's never any kind of clouds or dust raised during a battle, and it never rains hard out at sea.

Waste of f*cking money.

Since we do not know the performance reduction due to rain/sleet/duct/turbulence it is hard to determine if is a waste of money.

If the time to destroy a target is increased form 4 seconds to 6 seconds that is still a useful weapon system and can still shoot down incoming missiles and planes. If the shoot down time is increased to 40 seconds then we have a problem.

I can see significant improvments in having the laser system over the CIWS. Ammunition and physical maintenance come to mind. If the whole unit is solid state there are very few moving parts to be be serviced or replaced. The lack of ammunition frees up space and weight that can be dedicated to other systems on the ship.

thinking of CIWS, if it does have a fast refire rate for the laser,  it might survive the missile swarm from Red Storm Rising as well as the Iranian idea of sending 100s of speed boats


There's an easier way to deal with speedboats that any aircraft carrier is always equipped with: Men with guns.

Put a whole bunch of men on deck with high caliber machine guns. They'd cut a swarm of speedboats to ribbons outside of a kilometer.
 
2014-02-18 02:30:50 PM

factoryconnection: Sorry, subby... USS SHARK was decomm'ed in 1990.

And before you ask, we haven't had a USS BASS since 1945, ill-tempered or not.


Was that a Sturgeon class sub
 
2014-02-18 02:42:20 PM
But does it work in a practical real life environment? Or will it be like a laser pointer at a plane?
 
2014-02-18 03:02:12 PM

groppet: But does it work in a practical real life environment? Or will it be like a laser pointer at a plane?


It seems to work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5qKSKsfUPM
 
2014-02-18 03:33:07 PM
For the Navy, it's not so much about the whiz-bang technology as it is about the economics of such armaments. Both cost pennies on the dollar compared with missiles and smart bombs, and the weapons can be fired continuously, unlike missiles and bombs, which eventually run out.

So railguns come with an infinite supply of projectiles? Sweet!
 
2014-02-18 03:58:33 PM

MadMattressMack: groppet: But does it work in a practical real life environment? Or will it be like a laser pointer at a plane?

It seems to work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5qKSKsfUPM


Well that is pretty cool, but can it make popcorn?
 
2014-02-18 04:15:34 PM

TheYeti: Muta: The US army just got their asses handed to them by afghan war lords armed with WWI era weapons.  Giving the US military fancy pants lasers before they learn how to fight with repeating rifles is like buying your kid a Parker Fly before he shows that he can play that second hand strat from the pawn shop.

So, it's your opinion that we should have engaged the enemy in a war, and not another politicized police action?

Because the US is very good at the former, and not very good at the latter.  We always seem seem to get confused at some point in the process.  Wars are for killing, not making friends or media ops.


Two be fair at the end of WWII we made our biggest enemies friends. Now granted one became our friend because one of our other friends turned out to be a bigger dick then us. The other we put a gun to their head and said be our friend or else. Now then with a determined, religious population that knows nothing about civilization this has not worked out so well.
 
2014-02-18 04:39:12 PM

buckler: For the Navy, it's not so much about the whiz-bang technology as it is about the economics of such armaments. Both cost pennies on the dollar compared with missiles and smart bombs, and the weapons can be fired continuously, unlike missiles and bombs, which eventually run out.

So railguns come with an infinite supply of projectiles? Sweet!


A ferrite slug is a lot cheaper to manufacture than a Tomahawk missile and take up much, much less space. There's also no need to have armored spaces in the ship for ammo storage as it's doesn't have an explosive in it nor does it have volatile fuels for flight.  Given the size of the round vs the volume available for storage in a ship vs the expected amount of targets I would think it would be an infinite supply. In other words, the amount of ammo one could possibly ever to expended in any engagement short of using the gun to cut a path through the ice on the north pole is on board.

groppet: MadMattressMack: groppet: But does it work in a practical real life environment? Or will it be like a laser pointer at a plane?

It seems to work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5qKSKsfUPM

Well that is pretty cool, but can it make popcorn?


Yes, but only if fired from a B-1.
 
2014-02-18 04:58:34 PM
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2014-02-18 05:19:33 PM

MadMattressMack: Towermonkey: FWIW, the 120mm Rheinmetall main gun on the Abrams is smoothbore. Not your point, I know, but I don't think anyone would argue that the Abrams is not effective. Granted it isn't built for urban combat, but there is a canister round for it that is basically a giant claymore, and it is devastating against massed infantry and light fortifications.

Yeah, I thought about that after I posted. I should've said something to identify it as muzzle loading as there are current smooth bore artillery guns in use.

I've seen the video of the guy blowing a suicide vest on an Abrams in Iraq and it wasn't completely useless. But the idea it was designed for (operating against other MBTs in Europe) is a pretty dead idea. The tungsten canister round has a problem with it not stopping at the first house it's fired at. You can't really use the main gun in an urban environment.

That's why they're not building any more Abrams but they're building MRAPs like crazy. A light APC with a mounted .50 backing up infantry is more appropriate for fighting guerrilla warfare.  The planners after the end of the Cold War didn't know what would happen next so they kept planning for waves of T-72s and T-80s in Germany.


Yeah, the Abrams was kind of a pig in Iraqi cities. Can't depress the main gun enough to catch guys close in, and the coaxial .50 cal is tied to it. The loader's MG is pretty exposed... Ugh. I'm glad I was out of the Army before then. When I was in, we trained for, well, desert crap. Massed armor moving fast against other armor and mechanized infantry. Basically fighting Gulf War I again, or training for a Bosnian style action. As always, preparing to fight the last war again.

Then again, to hear my brother tell it, the way to fight an urban guerilla insurgency was exactly the way they did it, with Stryker brigades going door-to-door.
 
2014-02-18 05:38:25 PM

Towermonkey: MadMattressMack: Towermonkey: FWIW, the 120mm Rheinmetall main gun on the Abrams is smoothbore. Not your point, I know, but I don't think anyone would argue that the Abrams is not effective. Granted it isn't built for urban combat, but there is a canister round for it that is basically a giant claymore, and it is devastating against massed infantry and light fortifications.

Yeah, I thought about that after I posted. I should've said something to identify it as muzzle loading as there are current smooth bore artillery guns in use.

I've seen the video of the guy blowing a suicide vest on an Abrams in Iraq and it wasn't completely useless. But the idea it was designed for (operating against other MBTs in Europe) is a pretty dead idea. The tungsten canister round has a problem with it not stopping at the first house it's fired at. You can't really use the main gun in an urban environment.

That's why they're not building any more Abrams but they're building MRAPs like crazy. A light APC with a mounted .50 backing up infantry is more appropriate for fighting guerrilla warfare.  The planners after the end of the Cold War didn't know what would happen next so they kept planning for waves of T-72s and T-80s in Germany.

Yeah, the Abrams was kind of a pig in Iraqi cities. Can't depress the main gun enough to catch guys close in, and the coaxial .50 cal is tied to it. The loader's MG is pretty exposed... Ugh. I'm glad I was out of the Army before then. When I was in, we trained for, well, desert crap. Massed armor moving fast against other armor and mechanized infantry. Basically fighting Gulf War I again, or training for a Bosnian style action. As always, preparing to fight the last war again.

Then again, to hear my brother tell it, the way to fight an urban guerilla insurgency was exactly the way they did it, with Stryker brigades going door-to-door.


When i was in (for what little time I was - medical for eyesight) they were preparing everyone for Bosnia as part of the NATO SFOR. Same thing. MBT vs MBT with infantry supporting. It was 1998 and the Cold War was still fresh in everyone's minds.

I never talked too people who were in Iraq and uniform. The guys I've talked to were all contractors and basically stayed in green zones. The ones who didn't have as much to say about the tactics as much as they had to say about convoy attacks.

I've got a nephew in Afghanistan who is SIGINT in the Army right now. They're doing the best they can to use technology to cover an area that there's no way they could get congressional approval for the amount of troops needed to properly occupy. But their hands are tied in trying to find peace between people who are scared and the people who are waiting for us to leave to attack them again.
 
2014-02-18 05:40:01 PM
Also, I think the Army had a hard on for Bosnia as it was as close to the European engagement they'd been planning for decades that they would ever get.
 
2014-02-18 05:46:46 PM

MadMattressMack: Also, I think the Army had a hard on for Bosnia as it was as close to the European engagement they'd been planning for decades that they would ever get.


Agreed, they sure wanted to see what would happen if the Warsaw Pact came streaming across the Fulda Gap. I really don't think it was ever gonna happen though. The guys in charge of the Red Army were in WWII, largely, and they remembered.

When I was a trooper in a cav battalion in the mid '90s, there was starting to be a major shift away from the idea that the next war would be a European one, and that we would wind up in the desert playing Gulf War II: Electric Boogaloo.
 
2014-02-18 09:32:20 PM

Towermonkey: Then again, to hear my brother tell it, the way to fight an urban guerilla insurgency was exactly the way they did it, with Stryker brigades going door-to-door.


www.themovies.co.za
 
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