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(Bloomberg)   The Air Force wants jets with friggin' lasers   ( bloomberg.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Air Force, force research lab, Air Force Research, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin Corp., laser, Lockheed senior fellow  
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1196 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Nov 2017 at 12:45 PM (12 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



21 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-11-08 10:38:55 AM  
I for one hope they call these new jets Sharks.
 
2017-11-08 11:40:31 AM  
That would be awesome.
 
2017-11-08 11:50:45 AM  
pew pew
 
2017-11-08 12:50:07 PM  
"Yes, yes. And each one of these 'laser' jets will cost...'one million dollars'."
"Umm. Sir, that won't even cover a week of R&D expenditures."
"Fine, fine. Each laser jet will cost...one hundred...BILLION...dollars?"
"Yeah. Yeah that's about in line with military expenditures today."
 
2017-11-08 01:26:20 PM  
How about they just start by figuring out how to report convicted domestic abusers to the federal database for firearms purchasing like they're supposed to?  Then we can talk about new toys.
 
2017-11-08 01:33:16 PM  
How will the pilots know that the laser is actually working? Laser beams can't be seen unless there is something in the air to scatter the light (unlike what you see in movies), the laser shot will only be an indescribably short burst (unlike what you see in movies) and, of course, they are silent unlike missiles or guns (unlike what you hear in movies). Will they make sure that when the pilot pulls the laser trigger that he hears "pew, pew"? Maybe they will let the pilot choose the sound file so on one mission it sounds like a phaser, another time like the energy beam from the Death Star.
 
2017-11-08 01:45:02 PM  
What good is a laser on a fighter jet that never does any close quarters fighting?
 
2017-11-08 02:20:42 PM  
I want one.  This is covered by the Second Amendment, right?
 
2017-11-08 02:51:20 PM  

Raoul Eaton: I want one.  This is covered by the Second Amendment, right?


Hey, just what you see, pal!
vignette.wikia.nocookie.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-08 02:52:39 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
I hope they don't rue the day they finally make it work.
 
2017-11-08 03:08:03 PM  
You know, one thing that always bugged me is why there are any fighter class ships in Trek.

You've got computers capable of perfect aim and instant-propogate energy weapons.
 
2017-11-08 03:08:37 PM  
One o these?
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-08 03:19:39 PM  
Just as well they've got the F35's problems all fixed so they can now waste massive sums of money on this instead now....
 
2017-11-08 03:23:04 PM  
Anybody know how efficient lasers are?
60kW = 80hp.
I'm guessing that 10% efficiency means an 800hp generator, which still isn't much when connected to a jet engine.
1% effiiciency means either 8000hp generator (which probably wouldn't tax the engine enough to slow down the plane, but might be too damn big to fit) or insane capacitors.  I wouldn't bet too long against insane capacitors (I'm assuming a *brief* burst).

First I assumed that the power supply would never fit on the plane, but now I'm not sure.  Then again it probably isn't hard to defend against 60kW, and after that it gets hard to fit on the plane.
 
2017-11-08 03:54:55 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: Anybody know how efficient lasers are?
60kW = 80hp.
I'm guessing that 10% efficiency means an 800hp generator, which still isn't much when connected to a jet engine.
1% effiiciency means either 8000hp generator (which probably wouldn't tax the engine enough to slow down the plane, but might be too damn big to fit) or insane capacitors.  I wouldn't bet too long against insane capacitors (I'm assuming a *brief* burst).

First I assumed that the power supply would never fit on the plane, but now I'm not sure.  Then again it probably isn't hard to defend against 60kW, and after that it gets hard to fit on the plane.


My bet is that they will be using a fiber disk laser, which can significantly lower the requirements for the pump source while being highly scalable and relatively easy to cool.
 
2017-11-08 04:44:07 PM  

imgod2u: You know, one thing that always bugged me is why there are any fighter class ships in Trek.

You've got computers capable of perfect aim and instant-propogate energy weapons.


There were in Deep Space Nine.
 
2017-11-08 04:44:35 PM  
And a tracking system, and a mirror?
 
2017-11-08 05:58:49 PM  

imgod2u: You know, one thing that always bugged me is why there are any fighter class ships in Trek.

You've got computers capable of perfect aim and instant-propogate energy weapons.


Trek battles are supposed to be capital ships slugging it out at short range on the high seas, despite the fact they have FTL communication and comms. They should be fighting using drone swarms or remote corvettes from opposite ends of a solar system (especially since they have shown the ships almost all have vulnerability to spammed attacks), with battles lasting less than a second after engagement, not these vague slugfest two feet off the bow where they take turns trading pot shots.

/In TOS, they didn't have the budget for it, but from TNG on, they did.
 
2017-11-08 06:23:06 PM  

luidprand: imgod2u: You know, one thing that always bugged me is why there are any fighter class ships in Trek.

You've got computers capable of perfect aim and instant-propogate energy weapons.

Trek battles are supposed to be capital ships slugging it out at short range on the high seas, despite the fact they have FTL communication and comms. They should be fighting using drone swarms or remote corvettes from opposite ends of a solar system (especially since they have shown the ships almost all have vulnerability to spammed attacks), with battles lasting less than a second after engagement, not these vague slugfest two feet off the bow where they take turns trading pot shots.

/In TOS, they didn't have the budget for it, but from TNG on, they did.


TOS had almost no massed fleet action.  The concept there was the exploratory age of sail, a la the British Empire and earlier eras, when much of the galaxy ('World') was unknown, and ships went out by themselves to map, explore, and claim brave new worlds.

Whatever a ship ran into, it had to handle on its own ('Horatio Hornblower'), so the combat was mostly Hero's Ship closing with the Klingon / Pirate Ship and duking it out with deck guns.

Drifting off topic, I always kinda thought the shows lost something when the model moved away from the 'Isolated Captain On His Own'.  A more crowded concept, with fast, reliable, easy contact with HQ, much more backup and support, and more fleet action, is very much a viable concept and can support damn good stories, but I personally prefer the more isolated model.

There's more weight and responsibility riding on the Captain's shoulders, and his / her personality strengths and flaws will have greater impact on any given situation.  Plus, there's more ...  'romance', if you will, to those kinds of stories.

Back in the original series Bible for Star Trek, Roddenberry was careful to emphasize that Kirk's youth, brashness, and intense desire to protect his ship and crew could very easily lead him into errors, and that these were legitimate things to use as story points.
 
2017-11-08 10:13:06 PM  
you guys don't get it... they're building the jets with frickin' laser beams to fight the sharks with frickin laser beams, has NOBODY seen west side story?!
 
2017-11-08 10:59:04 PM  

bdub77: "Yes, yes. And each one of these 'laser' jets will cost...'one million dollars'."
"Umm. Sir, that won't even cover a week of R&D expenditures."
"Fine, fine. Each laser jet will cost...one hundred...BILLION...dollars?"
"Yeah. Yeah that's about in line with military expenditures today."


We'll make the middle class tax payer foot the bill
And privatize the profits.
 
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