Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(US Naval Institute)   U.S. Navy releases video of a ship downing a drone with its frickin' laser beam during the first at-sea test. Pew pew!   (news.usni.org) divider line
    More: Murica, United States Navy, laser weapon, Laser, sea test of the Navy, high-energy laser weapon system, Amphibious ship USS Portland, greater power-generation capabilities, SSL-TM  
•       •       •

6976 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 23 May 2020 at 1:05 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

 
2020-05-23 2:01:30 AM  
28 votes:

AirForceVet: Neat trick. Now let's try a jet-powered drone simulating a cruise middle. Then follow that with a ballistic missile intercept.


How about we fix the roads and dams, get medical care to everyone in this country, improve education with a reality-based curriculum, shore up the foundations of our democracy with some election security, start making some real changes to our society to combat global ecological and climatological collapse, and some judicial and law enforcement reform to reduce the impact of institutional racism first?

/in no particular order
//I didn't even address sexism or misogyny, I just don't even have a clue how to fix that
 
2020-05-23 1:34:40 AM  
23 votes:

fehk: I was wondering if there's ever anywhere to see live weapon exercises, like air shows but for weapons?


franksengraving.comView Full Size


Give those guys a call.  They'll hook you up.
 
2020-05-22 11:20:20 PM  
22 votes:
Neat trick. Now let's try a jet-powered drone simulating a cruise middle. Then follow that with a ballistic missile intercept.
 
2020-05-23 1:14:49 AM  
12 votes:

AirForceVet: Then follow that with a ballistic missile intercept.


upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2020-05-23 2:27:19 AM  
8 votes:

starsrift: Well, to their credit, the US military-industrial is not fighting the last war with this new tech. Now they're fighting completely imaginary ones.

The last attacks on a US ship were some Houthi rebels aiming some rockets in the general direction of an Arleigh Burke, the USS Mason. It's unclear whether the missiles were successfully stopped by the Mason or just fell into the sea.

And of course the attack before that was the bombing the USS Cole, with a speedboat.

On the other hand, I suppose, having your own laser might be a lot more attractive than relying on an F35 CAP.


The laser isn't designed to deal with terrorist insurgents or African warlords.  It's for dealing with bigger threats like China.  It's generally considered a good idea to have the resources to deal with an enemy before they attack.
 
2020-05-23 1:14:40 AM  
8 votes:
Sure has been a lot of saber rattling going on lately.
 
2020-05-22 9:05:46 PM  
8 votes:
i.imgflip.comView Full Size
 
2020-05-23 2:37:33 AM  
7 votes:
Fark user imageView Full Size

The formula has been online for years.
 
2020-05-23 1:14:13 AM  
7 votes:
So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.
 
2020-05-23 2:35:40 AM  
6 votes:
My kid worked on the Lockheed project.

I told him he damn well better build me my ray gun.
 
2020-05-23 6:36:01 AM  
5 votes:

starsrift: OgreMagi: starsrift: Well, to their credit, the US military-industrial is not fighting the last war with this new tech. Now they're fighting completely imaginary ones.

The last attacks on a US ship were some Houthi rebels aiming some rockets in the general direction of an Arleigh Burke, the USS Mason. It's unclear whether the missiles were successfully stopped by the Mason or just fell into the sea.

And of course the attack before that was the bombing the USS Cole, with a speedboat.

On the other hand, I suppose, having your own laser might be a lot more attractive than relying on an F35 CAP.

The laser isn't designed to deal with terrorist insurgents or African warlords.  It's for dealing with bigger threats like China.  It's generally considered a good idea to have the resources to deal with an enemy before they attack.

My point was twofold.

One: A drone is just an aircraft. The US already has plenty of tools already to bring down aircraft. Some of those aircraft it can bring down might even belong to an enemy.

Two: The US hasn't had a fight with a modern military since WW2. In fact, no US navy ship has been actually sunk by hostile action since WW2. That's not a bad thing, per se, but the wars it DOES fight are ones with much less advanced gear, and more, well, more scrappy opponents. If the MI complex develops anything, it should be practical workhorses along the lines of the A-10, not lasers to replace A-A batteries or CIWS. This doesn't appear to be actually better than the previous options, though it looks cool, I guess. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, and the price of ammo is prohibitive.


The aircraft that this laser can take on particularly well are small drones carrying grenades, the type isis has been known to deploy in small numbers. The risk is that a state entity could deploy drones in large numbers.
As a matter of cost these kinds of drones are far cheaper than the countermeasures that could be deployed to stop them.  You'd be spending thousands of dollars on a missile, or hundreds of dollars per explosive shell (which are fired in bursts) to intercept a $500 toy.

What present energy weapons represent as a means to intercept these things quickly and cheaply. So you could target dozens at a time and hit them for a dollars worth of fuel per shot. As the technology envelops you'll be able to engage mortars and missiles much more reliably than we can with other systems.
It's going to be a critical capability to have on a modern battlefield where guided munitions are dirt cheap.

Perdix Drone Swarm - Fighters Release Hive-mind-controlled Weapon UAVs in Air
Youtube ndFKUKHfuM0
 
Al! [TotalFark]
2020-05-23 3:28:26 AM  
5 votes:

2wolves: So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.


I have never heard that lasers don't penetrate water.  Good thing that's not a testable assertion.  Oh, wait...

Seriously, even discounting the fact that I can use my laser pointer to shine through a pool with no issues at all, there are all sorts of technologies that rely on laser light penetrating water. Laser light absolutely does penetrate water, and whoever told you it doesn't is an idiot, a liar, or both.
 
2020-05-23 1:58:10 AM  
5 votes:

DubtodaIll: Sure has been a lot of saber rattling going on lately.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-05-23 9:21:51 AM  
4 votes:

pkjun: Anyway, "war is about resources" is only half true. People want resources but never for their own sake -- there's always some goal the resources will be used for, whether profit or domestic leverage or aggrandisement or defence against a rival looking for one of the above -- and there are usually plenty of ways to get at either the resource or the end goal without a particular war being fought at a particular time.


War is, or was, often seen as the simple way to do that.
Oil is behind the Middle East conflict now. Isis knows it needs oil to get the money to pay for the soldiers to have the influence. They obviously don't drink the oil, they exchange it for weapons from China and cash from turkey among many others. So it attacks oil fields as part of its campaign to become regionally dominant in not just cultural but also economic ways.
The US, despite being an exporter of oil at present, knows what's up. It's taken a stance against Isis so it parks some tanks on top of any oil field that isis might be able to grab, whether the host state wants us there or not. This deprives them of the oil, the money, and the influence to make people fight.

We can simplify all that to say the war is over oil.  If we could snap our fingers and change the dominance energy sources we used then the value of the oil would dwindle as quickly as the need to fight over it.

I think the issue here is the cost to bargain vs the cost to take. Germany needed resources to feed its expanding empire in WWII (or such was the stated reason) so it spent every last penny on soldiers and tanks to run over the border and take it, assuming they'd easily make it back in the long term.
Of course things didn't play out that way. Today Germany has an even larger population than it did during WWII with comparatively no military power to speak of. Becoming part of the American hegemony was a cheaper way to get everything they needed so there was no resurgence to war making.

When you introduce a cheap weapon that lets any third world force go toe to toe with a first world force then you risk changing that balance of power.  It becomes cheaper to take the resource rather than to negotiate for it, and suddenly your first world army is targeted by a swarm of drones.
Regardless of whether that force is buying the stuff itself or acting as a proxy, they'll fight you and take the resources to get the money and become the primary influence in a region.

Taking out that drone swarm becomes a priority to maintaining your control of the oil, which you need to do even if you yourself aren't using that specific oilfield because you have to deprive the enemy of easy resources.
 
2020-05-23 7:55:44 AM  
4 votes:

Mister Peejay: Space Squid:
Two:  The reason the US hasn't had a fight with a modern military is because of weapons like this.  Knowing that we have capabilities like these (and these are just the ones we're willing to show) are deterrents to picking fights with us (from large modern militaries; of course the smaller "scrappier" ones still give it a shot every now and then, but as your comment illustrated, none have succeeded in accomplishing too awful much; again, because of new technologies ...

I would think the real reason the US hasn't had a fight with a modern military is because nations rich enough to have a modern military have no benefit to going to war with the US.  Wars have always been about resources, whether it be land or population or oil (arguably, WWII was the first oil war).  Nowadays, if you as a country are rich enough to fund a modern military, you're rich enough to just buy the resources you need, and set up stable trading partners so that you don't have to worry about supply.

Diplomacy and a tightly interconnected economy.

It is still important to stay on the cutting edge military-wise, because that can change faster than you can leap forward technologically.


And there is a lot more to be gained from projects that start out as weapons like these.  I know NASA has discussed using... I believe the words they used were:  "a big-ass laser" to get rid of space junk.  They want to fire the laser up into the tracking path of orbital debris.  If the debris is small enough, it can vaporized.  If it's bigger, then it will create a thermal ablation effect on one side of the debris, where the heat radiating off of the debris will alter it's orbital path.  With precise enough gear, they can utilize it to de-Kessler-rize the orbital areas around Earth.  Reduce the space litter.  Dangerous space litter!
 
2020-05-23 7:11:15 AM  
4 votes:

AirForceVet: Neat trick. Now let's try a jet-powered drone simulating a cruise middle. Then follow that with a ballistic missile intercept.


It's only an issue of reliable target tracking and aiming. Lasers travel at the speed of light with pretty much zero air resistance or gravitational effects, i.e. if you are pointed at the target and hit the trigger, you will not miss.
 
2020-05-23 6:51:13 AM  
4 votes:
Space Squid:
Two:  The reason the US hasn't had a fight with a modern military is because of weapons like this.  Knowing that we have capabilities like these (and these are just the ones we're willing to show) are deterrents to picking fights with us (from large modern militaries; of course the smaller "scrappier" ones still give it a shot every now and then, but as your comment illustrated, none have succeeded in accomplishing too awful much; again, because of new technologies ...

I would think the real reason the US hasn't had a fight with a modern military is because nations rich enough to have a modern military have no benefit to going to war with the US.  Wars have always been about resources, whether it be land or population or oil (arguably, WWII was the first oil war).  Nowadays, if you as a country are rich enough to fund a modern military, you're rich enough to just buy the resources you need, and set up stable trading partners so that you don't have to worry about supply.

Diplomacy and a tightly interconnected economy.

It is still important to stay on the cutting edge military-wise, because that can change faster than you can leap forward technologically.
 
2020-05-23 5:13:29 AM  
4 votes:

starsrift: My point was twofold.

One: A drone is just an aircraft. The US already has plenty of tools already to bring down aircraft. Some of those aircraft it can bring down might even belong to an enemy.

Two: The US hasn't had a fight with a modern military since WW2. In fact, no US navy ship has been actually sunk by hostile action since WW2. That's not a bad thing, per se, but the wars it DOES fight are ones with much less advanced gear, and more, well, more scrappy opponents. If the MI complex develops anything, it should be practical workhorses along the lines of the A-10, not lasers to replace A-A batteries or CIWS. This doesn't appear to be actually better than the previous options, though it looks cool, I guess. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, and the price of ammo is prohibitive.


Addressing your comments:

One:  Before drones, modern warfare aircraft was significantly bigger, which meant: Big targets (comparably).  Now, with drones, we have to be able to hit something significantly smaller (and they're only going to keep getting smaller as technology improves).  This required new technology, as projectile/missile ammunition can have its trajectory altered by a gust of wind, causing it to miss its target (and when you have something ugly coming in hot, you may not get a second chance to shoot at it).  A laser is repositionable while it is firing, and isn't affected by wind while in flight.  And as long as you can produce enough power and cooling for this weapon, it doesn't have any reload downtime.

Two:  The reason the US hasn't had a fight with a modern military is because of weapons like this.  Knowing that we have capabilities like these (and these are just the ones we're willing to show) are deterrents to picking fights with us (from large modern militaries; of course the smaller "scrappier" ones still give it a shot every now and then, but as your comment illustrated, none have succeeded in accomplishing too awful much; again, because of new technologies like these).
 
2020-05-23 1:20:35 AM  
4 votes:
Well, to their credit, the US military-industrial is not fighting the last war with this new tech. Now they're fighting completely imaginary ones.

The last attacks on a US ship were some Houthi rebels aiming some rockets in the general direction of an Arleigh Burke, the USS Mason. It's unclear whether the missiles were successfully stopped by the Mason or just fell into the sea.

And of course the attack before that was the bombing the USS Cole, with a speedboat.

On the other hand, I suppose, having your own laser might be a lot more attractive than relying on an F35 CAP.
 
2020-05-23 3:58:14 PM  
3 votes:

Space Squid: Bennie Crabtree: Space Squid: but as your comment illustrated, none have succeeded in accomplishing too awful much; again, because of new technologies like these).

Not counting the Taliban, ISIS, Afghanistan in general, Al Qaeda, Slobodan Milosovic's gang, and a few others like Boko Haram.

You've not fought a modern military because you're in NATO.

The original topic I was replying to involved navies, not land warfare.  And was concerning other militaries attacking us, not us invading them.

Also, the US' military structure is larger than what, the next upteen countries' militaries put together.  So it's not because we're in NATO.  It's because we're in NATO.  (Meaning no disrespect to our NATO allied countries.)


Well, both. America didn't create NATO as a benevolent gift to the downtrodden and helpless Euros; it created NATO because it recognised that its own security objectives are furthered by tethering a bunch of other rich, influential, diplomatically connected and well-armed countries to its foreign policy. NATO means that confrontation with America also effectively means confrontation with the EU, which doubles the economic and diplomatic pressure America can apply even before considering the armed forces of NATO allies.

/At least before the international populist right started dismantling the network of alliances linking the world's liberal democracies together, at any rate
 
2020-05-23 10:51:19 AM  
3 votes:
Hold up everybody-- we're missing the main issue here.

How did Subby manage to end a headline with an exclamation point?
 
2020-05-23 9:58:24 AM  
3 votes:

GameSprocket: valenumr: OgreMagi: Al!: 2wolves: So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.

I have never heard that lasers don't penetrate water.  Good thing that's not a testable assertion.  Oh, wait...

Seriously, even discounting the fact that I can use my laser pointer to shine through a pool with no issues at all, there are all sorts of technologies that rely on laser light penetrating water. Laser light absolutely does penetrate water, and whoever told you it doesn't is an idiot, a liar, or both.

I'm guessing that enough energy to do damage to something could cause the water to vaporize.  And steam is going to diffuse the laser energy.  So it might work, but your going to see a loss of energy.

Not if you are using a frequency outside the absorption spectrum of the medium.

Yes, materials can be transparent to some wavelengths of light, but not others. The problem is that you also need to use a wavelength that will interact correctly with the drone material and be able to deliver enough energy to destroy it.



There's also the issue that waves on the surface means the laser will be dancing all over the place due to refraction.

Also, ocean water is murky.  Most submarines are not going to cooperate by staying near the surface.

Also, a ship-mounted laser is simply not going to be able to fire underwater because anywhere beyond the critical angle, it will simply reflect off the surface.  If any sub is so close to your ship that it's visible through the water surface (i.e. targetable), your ship is already dead.  Actually it would have been dead ten minutes ago.

Finally, water conducts heat really, really well.  I just did an experiment:

I have a 1500mW laser which normally burns through electrical tape nearly instantly (making nasty acrid smoke).  If I put the same tape dangling in a glass of water, I get interesting "crackling" sounds and a glow at the surface of the tape.  I think that's basically the water boiling and possibly even turning into plasma.

Anyway, it just roughened up the surface of the tape after many seconds but did not cut through.  Basically a laser is amazingly less useful on the same object under water because the water is a huge heat sink.  Waste of time.
 
2020-05-23 4:20:19 AM  
3 votes:

Al!: 2wolves: So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.

I have never heard that lasers don't penetrate water.  Good thing that's not a testable assertion.  Oh, wait...

Seriously, even discounting the fact that I can use my laser pointer to shine through a pool with no issues at all, there are all sorts of technologies that rely on laser light penetrating water. Laser light absolutely does penetrate water, and whoever told you it doesn't is an idiot, a liar, or both.


The lasers on naval vessels don't work well in fog or shooting into clouds.  Power delivery is degraded to the point where you can't blast a UAV into chunks.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/mili​t​ary/weapons/news/a19877/how-the-milita​ry-will-be-revolutionized-by-laser-wea​ponry/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_w​e​apon
Atmospheric thermal blooming has been a major problem, still mostly unsolved and worsened if there is fog, smoke, dust, rain, snow, smog, foam, or purposely dispersed obscurant chemicals in the air.
 
2020-05-23 3:19:35 AM  
3 votes:

starsrift: Well, to their credit, the US military-industrial is not fighting the last war with this new tech. Now they're fighting completely imaginary ones.


Well I mean like yeah those are the two logically possible options for military tech: stuff designed to fight a war we have already experienced, and stuff designed to fight a war we have not yet experienced so must imagine.
 
2020-05-23 1:20:57 AM  
3 votes:

2wolves: So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.


Good thing this is designed for UAV's, which are in development, vice research, by those tech savvy countries
 
2020-05-23 4:27:59 PM  
2 votes:

johnny_vegas: indy_kid: Still, we could (and should) cut the Pentagon's budget in half,

Step one is to get the US out of its worldwide treaties and mutual defense agreements that are one of the drivers for military force structure.


Alliances decrease rather than increase our military expenditure. You're thinking about it the wrong way around.

We don't have military obligations in South Korea and Japan because we have an alliance with them. We have an alliance with them because we have a security interest in controlling the West Pacific, and our alliance with those countries helps us enforce that interest by supplementing American forces with local ones.

We don't have military obligations in Europe because of NATO. NATO exists because we have security interests in controlling Europe, and NATO countries help us extend our hegemony with local forces.

If we scrap those deals, it's not like those countries will continue to do our bidding in exchange for nothing. It just means that all of our global interests become too expensive for us to enforce! And that of course doesn't mean we get to spend less on security -- it just means that the same amount of security spending buys us much less security.
 
2020-05-23 4:22:34 PM  
2 votes:

johnny_vegas: pkjun: valenumr: indy_kid: If you could see the enemy ship, you could blind the bridge crew in an instant.

Still, we could (and should) cut the Pentagon's budget in half, and put that money into infrastructure and health care.  What's the point of spending $800B a year to defend a "shiathole" country?

Okay zoomer. Good to know you appreciate the liberty and security you were born into.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 722x599]
[pbs.twimg.com image 850x515]

America isn't a bad country to live in, but if military spending is meant to buy quality of life, well, America's investment strategy really isn't getting a great ROI.

I think a lot of those countries would disagree and say the US expenditure has absolutely contributed to their quality of life both in a "world cop" sense and in they being able to build up their own social services because they don't have to invest as heavily in the their own military.


commondreams.orgView Full Size

i.ytimg.comView Full Size


pewresearch.orgView Full Size

pewresearch.orgView Full Size

pewresearch.orgView Full Size


For some weird reason, the country with more weapons than every other major power put together and a habit of starting wars for no particular reason and then forgetting about them when it gets bored does not make most of the world feel particularly at ease.
 
2020-05-23 11:02:26 AM  
2 votes:

This text is now purple: AirForceVet: Neat trick. Now let's try a jet-powered drone simulating a cruise middle. Then follow that with a ballistic missile intercept.

You usually don't waste a ballistic missile on a ship.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-​s​hip_ballistic_missile
 
2020-05-23 7:23:55 AM  
2 votes:

valenumr: starsrift: OgreMagi: starsrift: Well, to their credit, the US military-industrial is not fighting the last war with this new tech. Now they're fighting completely imaginary ones.

The last attacks on a US ship were some Houthi rebels aiming some rockets in the general direction of an Arleigh Burke, the USS Mason. It's unclear whether the missiles were successfully stopped by the Mason or just fell into the sea.

And of course the attack before that was the bombing the USS Cole, with a speedboat.

On the other hand, I suppose, having your own laser might be a lot more attractive than relying on an F35 CAP.

The laser isn't designed to deal with terrorist insurgents or African warlords.  It's for dealing with bigger threats like China.  It's generally considered a good idea to have the resources to deal with an enemy before they attack.

My point was twofold.

One: A drone is just an aircraft. The US already has plenty of tools already to bring down aircraft. Some of those aircraft it can bring down might even belong to an enemy.

Two: The US hasn't had a fight with a modern military since WW2. In fact, no US navy ship has been actually sunk by hostile action since WW2. That's not a bad thing, per se, but the wars it DOES fight are ones with much less advanced gear, and more, well, more scrappy opponents. If the MI complex develops anything, it should be practical workhorses along the lines of the A-10, not lasers to replace A-A batteries or CIWS. This doesn't appear to be actually better than the previous options, though it looks cool, I guess. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, and the price of ammo is prohibitive.

Uh, that's just wrong. We've been in several military conflicts since WWII. And some of the adversaries have been relatively capable. We still field 1950s through 80s combat vehicles (with upgrades though) as a bulk of our materiel.


Yeah, the Vietnamese shot down over 12,500 US/RVN aircraft, of which about 5,000 were fixed-wing planes. They weren't doing that with slingshots and BB guns.
 
2020-05-23 4:34:09 AM  
2 votes:

starsrift: OgreMagi: starsrift: Well, to their credit, the US military-industrial is not fighting the last war with this new tech. Now they're fighting completely imaginary ones.

The last attacks on a US ship were some Houthi rebels aiming some rockets in the general direction of an Arleigh Burke, the USS Mason. It's unclear whether the missiles were successfully stopped by the Mason or just fell into the sea.

And of course the attack before that was the bombing the USS Cole, with a speedboat.

On the other hand, I suppose, having your own laser might be a lot more attractive than relying on an F35 CAP.

The laser isn't designed to deal with terrorist insurgents or African warlords.  It's for dealing with bigger threats like China.  It's generally considered a good idea to have the resources to deal with an enemy before they attack.

My point was twofold.

One: A drone is just an aircraft. The US already has plenty of tools already to bring down aircraft. Some of those aircraft it can bring down might even belong to an enemy.

Two: The US hasn't had a fight with a modern military since WW2. In fact, no US navy ship has been actually sunk by hostile action since WW2. That's not a bad thing, per se, but the wars it DOES fight are ones with much less advanced gear, and more, well, more scrappy opponents. If the MI complex develops anything, it should be practical workhorses along the lines of the A-10, not lasers to replace A-A batteries or CIWS. This doesn't appear to be actually better than the previous options, though it looks cool, I guess. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, and the price of ammo is prohibitive.


Tools can find different uses. I mean, the practical workhorse you mention was originally conceived as being useful if we have a giant tank battle on the plains of Eastern Europe, which of course there hasn't been since Kursk, and if the US has redundant options in any one mission it is certainly "ways to blow up a tank" -- and it's loved in large part because of how cool its BRRRRT is. But it found plenty of practical uses and dedicated proponents even if it never actually managed to rake any lines of melted lead through any kilometre-long Soviet armoured columns.

Does a giant laser have military applications other than splashing drones? Certainly. Are those applications all going to be obvious until we have practical giant lasers? Certainly not. Is pouring billions of dollars into pew pew so we can figure out why we want pew pew an absurd waste of resources in a society where people can't afford to see a doctor? Of course it is. But it's been the American Way since 1950 or so.
 
2020-05-23 4:13:43 AM  
2 votes:
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-05-22 10:35:30 PM  
2 votes:
thumbs.gfycat.comView Full Size
 
2020-05-24 2:00:10 AM  
1 vote:

fehk: While lasers are great and way past due, what happened to microwave beams to burn out a big swath of these swarms?


We don't show off all of our toys...

My understanding of the issue with microwave beam technology is the danger to us fleshy things.  Even focused beams of microwave are a danger to the transmission near-area outside the beam.  I worked near a microwave transmission tower that sent data between buildings a couple miles apart.  When the tower was actively transmitting, no one could be within 60 feet of the tower, even if completely perpendicular to the beam path, or they could get TV Diner'ed.

One guy was too close when someone didn't follow procedures to make sure the area was cleared.  He got cooked a bit.  But I'm afraid I don't know if he was okay or not.
 
2020-05-23 11:48:47 PM  
1 vote:
I mean really if nothing else we should have had drone swarms way before the oil refinery hit, that's a pretty huge failing on the one thing we're supposed to be best at. What's up with that?
 
2020-05-23 4:21:50 PM  
1 vote:

valenumr: indy_kid: If you could see the enemy ship, you could blind the bridge crew in an instant.

Still, we could (and should) cut the Pentagon's budget in half, and put that money into infrastructure and health care.  What's the point of spending $800B a year to defend a "shiathole" country?

Okay zoomer. Good to know you appreciate the liberty and security you were born into.


The Soviets lost the cold war by trying to outspend the US on military, and we're falling into the same trap. China have a small amount of nukes and some anti ship missiles, but we're spending a hell of a lot more to counter them than they spend.

What happens when we don't have enough college graduates to come up with better designs? Military is important but domestic improvements are the real battle. We're going to have the best military and still fail when the dollar is too untrustworthy to be the reserve currency, or when the US is universally seen as a backwater shiathole
 
2020-05-23 4:08:29 PM  
1 vote:

pkjun: valenumr: indy_kid: If you could see the enemy ship, you could blind the bridge crew in an instant.

Still, we could (and should) cut the Pentagon's budget in half, and put that money into infrastructure and health care.  What's the point of spending $800B a year to defend a "shiathole" country?

Okay zoomer. Good to know you appreciate the liberty and security you were born into.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 722x599]
[pbs.twimg.com image 850x515]

America isn't a bad country to live in, but if military spending is meant to buy quality of life, well, America's investment strategy really isn't getting a great ROI.


I think a lot of those countries would disagree and say the US expenditure has absolutely contributed to their quality of life both in a "world cop" sense and in they being able to build up their own social services because they don't have to invest as heavily in the their own military.
 
2020-05-23 3:51:54 PM  
1 vote:

valenumr: indy_kid: If you could see the enemy ship, you could blind the bridge crew in an instant.

Still, we could (and should) cut the Pentagon's budget in half, and put that money into infrastructure and health care.  What's the point of spending $800B a year to defend a "shiathole" country?

Okay zoomer. Good to know you appreciate the liberty and security you were born into.


upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size

pbs.twimg.comView Full Size


America isn't a bad country to live in, but if military spending is meant to buy quality of life, well, America's investment strategy really isn't getting a great ROI.
 
2020-05-23 3:20:00 PM  
1 vote:

indy_kid: If you could see the enemy ship, you could blind the bridge crew in an instant.

Still, we could (and should) cut the Pentagon's budget in half, and put that money into infrastructure and health care.  What's the point of spending $800B a year to defend a "shiathole" country?


Okay zoomer. Good to know you appreciate the liberty and security you were born into.
 
2020-05-23 1:00:34 PM  
1 vote:

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Came looking for references to Jonny Quest - either 'Mystery of the Lizard Men' or 'The Robot Spy', take your pick.


Jonny Quest | Laser Rescue | Boomerang Official
Youtube nj9rsXMvzr0
 
2020-05-23 12:15:18 PM  
1 vote:

Mister Peejay: tricycleracer: AirForceVet: Neat trick. Now let's try a jet-powered drone simulating a cruise middle. Then follow that with a ballistic missile intercept.

Telephone pole-sized rods of tungsten dropped from orbit

A telephone pole sized rod of tungsten would be so expensive to get into orbit, along with enough fuel to de-orbit it hard enough that it can't be seen or avoided days in advance, that it would be much cheaper and easier to just buy the country that has the target.


It was a cold war hypothetical.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinet​i​c_bombardment
 
2020-05-23 11:40:39 AM  
1 vote:

starsrift: This doesn't appear to be actually better than the previous options, though it looks cool, I guess. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, and the price of ammo is prohibitive.


It can shoot down a drone. Yes, existing surface to air missiles can do that. For at least one million dollars a shot. This weapon costs under $20 per shot. Can fire repeatedly and for long periods of time. It can target a variety of targets - aircraft, incoming missiles, small vessels. It is better in every conceivable way.
 
2020-05-23 10:02:42 AM  
1 vote:

KodosZardoz: Meh. Let me know when we have Laser Chimps. LASER CHIMPS!


We are laser chimps.
 
2020-05-23 7:52:03 AM  
1 vote:
Anyway, "war is about resources" is only half true. People want resources but never for their own sake -- there's always some goal the resources will be used for, whether profit or domestic leverage or aggrandisement or defence against a rival looking for one of the above -- and there are usually plenty of ways to get at either the resource or the end goal without a particular war being fought at a particular time.
 
2020-05-23 7:33:21 AM  
1 vote:

valenumr: Mister Peejay: Space Squid:
Two:  The reason the US hasn't had a fight with a modern military is because of weapons like this.  Knowing that we have capabilities like these (and these are just the ones we're willing to show) are deterrents to picking fights with us (from large modern militaries; of course the smaller "scrappier" ones still give it a shot every now and then, but as your comment illustrated, none have succeeded in accomplishing too awful much; again, because of new technologies ...

I would think the real reason the US hasn't had a fight with a modern military is because nations rich enough to have a modern military have no benefit to going to war with the US.  Wars have always been about resources, whether it be land or population or oil (arguably, WWII was the first oil war).  Nowadays, if you as a country are rich enough to fund a modern military, you're rich enough to just buy the resources you need, and set up stable trading partners so that you don't have to worry about supply.

Diplomacy and a tightly interconnected economy.

It is still important to stay on the cutting edge military-wise, because that can change faster than you can leap forward technologically.

WWII was instigated by a butthurt Germany over the fallout from WWI.


Resources.  They wanted land, and they wanted oil.  That was the real reason they turned east, they needed oil.  They spent the whole prewar era stockpiling oil and developing synthetic alternatives.
 
2020-05-23 7:16:44 AM  
1 vote:

Al!: 2wolves: So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.

I have never heard that lasers don't penetrate water.  Good thing that's not a testable assertion.  Oh, wait...

Seriously, even discounting the fact that I can use my laser pointer to shine through a pool with no issues at all, there are all sorts of technologies that rely on laser light penetrating water. Laser light absolutely does penetrate water, and whoever told you it doesn't is an idiot, a liar, or both.


Surely does. It will refract and screw up your aim, but science can deal with such issues. Low wavelength light (photons on general) will have better penetration, iirc.
 
2020-05-23 6:42:08 AM  
1 vote:

Al!: 2wolves: So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.

I have never heard that lasers don't penetrate water.  Good thing that's not a testable assertion.  Oh, wait...

Seriously, even discounting the fact that I can use my laser pointer to shine through a pool with no issues at all, there are all sorts of technologies that rely on laser light penetrating water. Laser light absolutely does penetrate water, and whoever told you it doesn't is an idiot, a liar, or both.


The water absorbs the energy and reduces the effect.

You know what else reduces the damage effect of a laser?  A mirror.  Just make sure it is really, REALLY clean.
 
2020-05-23 4:27:42 AM  
1 vote:
Refraction of a laser in salt solution
Youtube JzrnFYrWbT4
 
2020-05-23 3:52:09 AM  
1 vote:
OK, that is friggen cool.
 
2020-05-23 3:26:46 AM  
1 vote:

starsrift: Well, to their credit, the US military-industrial is not fighting the last war with this new tech. Now they're fighting completely imaginary ones.

The last attacks on a US ship were some Houthi rebels aiming some rockets in the general direction of an Arleigh Burke, the USS Mason. It's unclear whether the missiles were successfully stopped by the Mason or just fell into the sea.

And of course the attack before that was the bombing the USS Cole, with a speedboat.

On the other hand, I suppose, having your own laser might be a lot more attractive than relying on an F35 CAP.


You'll thank him when the Cylons arrive.
 
2020-05-23 3:16:08 AM  
1 vote:
Fark user imageView Full Size

Mr Vice-President, I served with Race Bannon. I knew Race Bannon . Race Bannon was a friend of mine. Mr. Vice-President, you're no Race Bannon
 
2020-05-23 3:09:43 AM  
1 vote:
lh3.googleusercontent.comView Full Size
 
2020-05-23 2:24:24 AM  
1 vote:
Came looking for references to Jonny Quest - either 'Mystery of the Lizard Men' or 'The Robot Spy', take your pick.
 
2020-05-23 2:22:54 AM  
1 vote:

2wolves: So the tech savvy op for countries continue research into UMVs, Unmanned Marine Vehicles.  Lasers don't penetrate water.


Bonus:  They can be used for cocaine smuggling.
 
2020-05-23 2:03:52 AM  
1 vote:
The elevation on that beam didn't look very steep. How much airspace are they turning into a no-go zone in order to get a clear shot?

/next up, drone clusters
 
2020-05-23 1:52:16 AM  
1 vote:

fehk: I was wondering if there's ever anywhere to see live weapon exercises, like air shows but for weapons?


Call your wife by her sister's name while you're doin it.
 
2020-05-23 1:08:35 AM  
1 vote:
We've officially entered the photoshop war with Iran and North Korea

shiat's getting real, yo
 
Displayed 56 of 56 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter




In Other Media
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.