Laser/Beam weapons

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by LETHALFORCE, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Laser weapon passes biggest test - Science- msnbc.com

    Laser weapon passes biggest test
    Nautilus system shoots down long-range missile

    [​IMG]

    JERUSALEM - A laser weapon under joint Israeli-U.S. development destroyed a long-range rocket for the first time in a test in the skies over New Mexico, military spokesmen said Friday.

    Israel has sought an effective defense against ballistic missiles since 1991 when Iraq launched Scuds into the Jewish state during the first Gulf War. It has since developed the Arrow anti-ballistic missile with U.S. funding.

    “This is a significant step forward,” an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman said of Tuesday's test of the Nautilus Tactical High Energy Laser, conducted at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

    Israel sees the Nautilus as another potential countermeasure to possible ballistic attack by enemies, which would include most Arab states and Iran. In turn, those nations see Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal as the biggest strategic threat to the region.

    The Nautilus laser is being developed mainly by Northrop Grumman Corp. with the help of several Israeli high-tech firms specializing in optics and military hardware.

    “The project has the potential to fill an important operational need for Israel,” said Shmuel Keren, the Israeli military’s director of weapons systems and infrastructure development. “The system can answer our need for a system which can intercept missiles and cruise missiles for which currently there is no effective solution.”

    The Israeli Defense Ministry declined to elaborate on the test or the exact range of the intercepted missile. However, Pam Rogers, a U.S. Army spokeswoman in Huntsville, Ala., said the deuterium fluoride chemical laser destroyed an 11-foot-long, 6-inch-diameter (3.3-meter long, 15-centimeter-diameter) rocket.

    In earlier tests the Nautilus laser had successfully eliminated 28 short-range Katyusha rockets and five artillery shells in flight as well as several “hostile objects” on the ground.

    Northrop Grumman could deliver a mobile prototype by 2007 or 2008 if it gets a contract this summer, company spokesman Bob Bishop said from Redondo Beach, Calif. The project appears in the U.S. defense budget for fiscal 2004 with a $56 million allocation, he said.
    © 2009 msnbc.com
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Truth Seeker - Israel and US Develop Infrared Beam Weapon

    Israel and US Develop Infrared Beam Weapon
    Christopher Bollyn - American Free Press

    The theory that M/S ESTONIA was carrying advanced Soviet space and laser technology is bolstered by the COMPLETE change in attitude the Clinton Administration exhibited about developing space-based weapons, after the ESTONIA catastrophe.

    This 180 degree change occurred in early 1995, shortly after the ESTONIA catastrophe.

    It appears very likely that a KEY component of the space-based weapons program known as "Brilliant Pebbles" was obtained through the technology transfer conduit that the otherwise innocent car and passenger ferry ESTONIA represented.

    For five days the wreck was not located although it could easily be seen in shallow water of some 150 feet from a helicopter.

    Below the surface a struggle to obtain possession of the crucial cargo was being fought. Only after this struggle was concluded was it possible to locate the wreck for the anxious Swedish and Estonian publics.

    An Baltic-wide multi-national military exercise had been in progress during the entire episode. Two submarines, one Swedish and one Soviet, are reported to have followed ESTONIA when it left Tallinn harbor for Stockholm. Why were they so interested? Read on.

    Israel and the USA have actively developed advanced laser and infrared weapons SINCE the ferry ESTONIA sank.

    Is there a connection?

    ISRAEL and US DEVELOP INFRARED BEAM WEAPON
    By Christopher Bollyn

    Was the collapse of the World Trade Center caused by a laser beam weapon? A physicist who worked on the original “deep infrared” beam weapon has reason to believe so.

    Amazingly, more than five months after the greatest terror attack on America in history, the cause of the towers’ structural failure has yet to be investigated and re mains unexplained, according to America’s leading fire engineering experts.

    As part of an on-going investigation, American Free Press has interviewed a German physicist who believes a laser beam weapon, employing infrared technology originally developed in the Soviet Union, may have caused the towers’ collapse.

    People are still trying to understand exactly what caused the towers to completely crumble. However, it now appears likely that the federal government will not conduct an open and comprehensive inquiry and that the most important questions may remain unanswered.

    Bush Wants Inestigation Limited

    Both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney personally intervened and asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to “limit the congressional investigation into the events of Sept. 11,” according to CNN. Bush made the unusual request at a private meeting with congressional leaders on Jan. 29. He asked that the House and Senate intelligence committees look only into “the potential breakdowns among federal agencies that could have allowed the terrorist attacks to occur,” rather than conduct a comprehensive inquiry.

    Cheney made a similar appeal to Daschle on Jan. 25. “The vice president expressed the concern that a review of what happened on Sept. 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism,” Daschle said. “I acknowledged that concern, and it is for that reason that the Intelligence Committee is going to begin this effort, trying to limit the scope and the overall review of what happened.”

    Privately, Democrats questioned why the White House feared a broader investigation to determine possible culpability.

    A forensic investigation into what actually caused the buildings to collapse has not been opened and probably never will because the crucial evidence, such as steel from the building, was quickly removed rather than taken to a metallurgical laboratory to be examined. Fire Engineering magazine, a 125-year old respected journal which publishes technical studies of major fires, recently criticized the investigation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as “a half-baked farce.”

    The journal said it “has good reason to believe that the ‘official investigation’ blessed by FEMA and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers is a half-baked farce, commandeered by political forces whose primary interests . . . lie far afield of full disclosure.”

    There are numerous indicators that something other than fuel fires caused the towers to collapse, including: the immense clouds of dust and apparent disintegration of some 425,000 cubic yards of concrete; the short duration and low temperature of the jet fuel fires; the fact that the rubble burned for more than three months despite being constantly sprayed with water; the report from the medical examiner that many of the dead had been “vaporized” and the absence of any flight data from the planes’ “black boxes.”

    Michael Baden, M.D., New York state’s chief forensic pathologist and a top expert in the field, said most bodies should be identifiable because the fires had not reached the 3,200 degree (F), 30-minute level necessary to incinerate a body. “Recovered tissues will likely be identified,” Baden said, because “bodies are not cremated—or burnt beyond the ability to be identified—in the type of fire that occurred at the World Trade Center.”

    A former East German physicist who was involved in the development of a infrared beam weapon in the Soviet Union told AFP that there is evidence that a directed energy weapon using “deep infrared” radiation was used to bring down the WTC.

    The East German physicist told AFP, “From my experience as a physicist and research scientist with the GRU [Russia’s equivalent to the CIA] I have enough experience to judge that the WTC towers have been burning too quickly, too hot, and too completely to have been caused by the kerosene [jet fuel] fires that resulted from the crashes. Furthermore, the demolished buildings nearby [the 47-story Salomon Bros. Building] are an indication that there was a plasmoid cloud involved, which probably affected the buildings nearby.”

    A plasmoid cloud is a heated and ionized gas that can be created and projected using far infrared thermal waves. Plasma occurs when a gas is heated so that some electrons have been separated from their atoms or molecules. Ball lightning is considered by experts to be a plasmoid phenomenon.

    The physicist told AFP that he believes that a plasmoid may have been projected onto the towers before the planes struck. “The planes may have had plasmoid in front of them. Just two or three seconds before the planes hit the towers, the plasmoids on the towers would have caused the Faraday cabin effect, like a car being hit by lightning.

    “The thermal infrared plasmoid would have raised the heat of the building. One should examine the videos in slow motion to see when the fires started. A plasmoid would have affected the computers in neighboring buildings, because the plasmoid affects computers and cannot be targeted precisely,” the physicist said.

    If that were the case, another plasma expert says, “it seems evident that if the object [the plane] is moving at high speed in the dense lower levels of the atmosphere, the sudden collapse of the force free field and plasmoid would result in its thermal disintegration in a matter of seconds.” The absence of any data from the black boxes is a further indication of the use of a plasmoid weapon, according to the physicist.

    In 1991, before the Soviet military withdrew from East Germany, the GRU demonstrated for the U.S. Air Force Electronic Security Command (AFESC) the capabilities of its infrared beam weapon by reducing a ceramic plate into dust from a distance of one mile. This display of Soviet weapon technology was meant to impress upon the U.S. Air Force “how a stealth bomber could be turned into dust in the same way,” the physicist said.

    The physicist placed a slightly warmed plate on the floor of a kitchen in an apartment on the fifth floor, just below the roof. GRU headquarters, where the infrared beam originated was less than one mile away on the other side of the valley and the second transmitter or reflector was 200 meters away, with no obstacles between. An infrared beam weapon requires two sources. The TV and the oven were turned on and the TV’s remote control was put in the refrigerator. The physicist left the room and watched the TV screen, which went black for a few seconds. The physicist left the apartment for a half hour to allow AFESC personnel to examine the results.

    The plate had been reduced to such tiny pieces that it was difficult to pick them up even with a vacuum cleaner, according to the physicist. “The plate was not destroyed suddenly as if hit by a bullet, rather it disintegrated in a process taking about 15 minutes.”

    Although such technology is not widely discussed in the West, the Soviet infrared beam weapon is nothing new and was used during a Soviet dispute with China in 1968 to destroy “a wall” at the Ussuri River, which separates Manchuria from Russia’s Far East, according to the physicist.

    Infrared light is heat producing and invisible and is found between visible light and microwave on the electromagnetic spectrum. Near infrared is closest to visible light and far or deep infrared is close to microwave. Far infrared waves are thermal and cause increased molecular vibrational activity. In other words, infrared radiation is heat.

    Laser Weapon

    There are indications, according to the physicist, that such a weapon was used when the KAL plane was shot down over Kamchatka in Sept. 1983. Since the early ’90s, this technology returned to scientific discussions in the West and the technology appears to have been transferred from the Soviet Union.

    Since 1995, the United States and Israel have actively developed an advanced infrared beam weapon under a joint “anti-missile” program known as the Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL). The THEL is a mobile, high-energy laser weapon.

    Lasers are the leading edge of directed energy weapons. Laser weapons have been under active development for 20 years and easily constitute the most advanced of the directed-energy devices. In 1984, Jeff Hecht, author of Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race, wrote, “The military ‘destructor beam’ definitely is in our future tactical arsenal.”

    The advanced technology and plasma physics involved in directed-energy weapons give them unprecedented lethal power. Among their more important features are: the ability to fire energy “bullets” at or near the speed of light; to redirect their fire toward multiple targets rapidly; their long range; and their ability to transmit lethal doses of energy in a fraction of a second. No conventional ammunition is required—only fuel for the power generator is needed.

    THEL is part of a joint program known as Nautilus, in which the U.S. Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) have developed infrared laser weapon systems. The prime contractor, TRW Space and Electronics Group, has been involved in the development of high energy laser systems since the early 1970s. A host of Israeli engineers and companies are involved in the program including the aerospace companies Rafael, Israel Aircraft Industries, and Tadiran.

    THEL is a mobile system ostensibly designed to destroy rockets, such as the Russian-made Katyusha. The THEL employs the Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL). The MIRACL is a megawatt class, deuterium-fluoride chemical laser. The weapon’s systems can be transported in one or two shipping containers.

    The THEL successfully destroyed a short range rocket in flight on Feb. 9, 1996. As a result, the United States and Israel began joint development of a Tactical High Energy Laser/Rapid Acquisition Demonstrator (THEL/ RAD) system. In April 1996, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of Defense William Perry met Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. The United States made a commitment to assist Israel in the development of a THEL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD) laser by the end of 1998. Congress gave more than $55 million for THEL development in 1997.
    Expense to the U.S. taxpayer and U.S. national security are apparently not considerations at the political level when sharing the results of U.S. weapons development programs with Israel. Nautilus was offered to Israel in the form of a multimillion-dollar “research grant.”

    The funding for Nautilus research was part of a $2 billion military grants package Clinton offered to Peres. Israel’s access to real-time U.S. satellite imagery and at least $50 million for accelerated development of the “Nautilus” laser system were included in the Clinton package.

    “Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable and it will remain so because Israel must have the right to defend itself, by itself.” Clinton said while giving Israel an additional $200 million in U.S. taxpayer money above and beyond the “official” $5.5 billion figure.

    Described as the “the world’s first high-energy laser weapon system,” THEL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD) reportedly shot down a rocket with a live warhead on June 6, 2000, at the Army’s High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF), White Sands Missile Range, N. M. The THEL-ACTD is a highly mobile “stand-alone defensive weapon system” unlike the earlier version.

    “We’ve just turned science fiction into reality,” said Lt. Gen. John Costello, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

    “The THEL/ACTD shoot-down is a watershed event for a truly revolutionary weapon,” said Tim Hannemann, executive vice president and general manager, TRW Space & Electronics Group.

    During the test of THEL/ACTD, an armed Katyusha rocket was fired from a rocket launcher placed at a site in White Sands Missile Range. Seconds later, the THEL/ ACTD, located several miles away, detected the launch with its fire control radar, tracked the streaking rocket with its high precision pointer tracker system, then engaged the rocket with its high-energy chemical laser. Within seconds, the 10-foot-long, five-inch-diameter rock et exploded.

    This weaponry, which is usually described as defensive in the context of anti-missile applications, can be mounted on an airplane, ship, land-based station, or satellite. It can bombard its target with either beams that will destroy it outright, or by beams of lesser strength to disable the target’s electronics and cause it to go out of control.

    If the WTC had been struck by a similar weapon, than it is very likely, according to the East German physicist that one of the transmitters would have been placed in a high building nearby and the second one on a ship or across the East River. Some of the questions that should be asked would be: How long did the towers’ emergency power supply continue to function and had the computers in the towers been disturbed?
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Science News - Laser Weapon Destroys Artillery Fire

    Laser Weapon Destroys Artillery Fire


    Laser Weapon Destroys Artillery Fire

    13:53 06 November 02
    NewScientist.com news service
    The Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser has scored 3Array kills, including
    26 Katyusha rockets.

    A high-energy laser beam shot down an artillery shell in mid flight during a US military test on Tuesday.

    The Army's Space and Missile Defence Command has previously shown that laser systems can be used to track and destroy rockets but this is the first time it has tested such a weapon on the smaller and faster artillery shells.

    "Tactical high energy lasers have the capacity to change the face of the battlefield," said Lieutenant General Joseph Cosumano. "This shootdown shifts the paradigm for defensive capabilities. We've shown that even an artillery projectile hurtling through the air at supersonic speed is no match for a laser."

    Infrared imaging reveals the
    58cm-diameter beam of a THEL
    (Image: TRW)

    A beam of photons fired from a Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser (MTHEL) destroyed the airborne shell well short of its intended target at the White Sands test range in New Mexico.

    The MTHEL system consists of a target tracking radar, a pointer system used to control the position of the laser and a high-powered deuterium fluoride chemical laser.

    Moving target

    In Tuesday's test the laser system was stationary but the army hopes to make the weapon mobile. It ought to fit onto an army humvee, a ship or even a helicopter.

    The system was developed by the US Space and Missile Defense Command, the Israeli army and the defence contractor TRW. Tests conducted in August 2000 showed that another laser system, the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), could destroy short-range Russian-built Katyusha rockets in flight.

    The US army is currently researching a variety of different combat laser systems. It has developed powerful ground- and air-based lasers for targeting long-range missiles, as well as smaller fighter plane systems capable of striking other aircraft or anti-aircraft batteries.

    But some of these laser projects have been criticised for potentially contravening the Geneva Convention's ban on weapons that can blind people.
    Army uses laser to shoot down artillery

    Wednesday, November 6, 2002 Posted: 11:12 AM EST (1612 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The U.S. Army used a high-energy laser to shoot down an artillery shell in mid-flight on Tuesday in a defense industry breakthrough, the Army and the manufacturer said.

    The Army and TRW Inc., which developed the weapon, said in a joint statement that the laser tracked, locked onto and fired a burst of concentrated light energy photons at the speeding shell over the White Sands test range in New Mexico.

    "Seconds later, at a point well short of its intended destination, the projectile was destroyed," the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command said.

    The Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL) is being developed by TRW for the Army and the Israeli Defense Ministry. Lasers have been used in past tests at the range to shoot down slower Katyusha Rockets similar to those fired at Israel by militant guerrilla groups in neighboring Lebanon.

    "This shootdown shifts the paradigm for defensive capabilities. We've shown that even an artillery projectile hurtling through the air at supersonic speed is no match for a laser," said Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Cosumano, head of the missile defense command.

    "Tactical high energy lasers have the capacity to change the face of the battlefield," he added.
    Burning up warheads in flight

    The laser was fired from a static testbed in a carefully controlled test, but TRW officials said they looked forward to producing a truly mobile version as the program progressed.

    Tuesday's test — the first time a laser had shot down an artillery shell — was part of a new series to determine MTHEL requirements and demonstrate the system's capabilities against a wide range of airborne targets.

    In earlier tests in 2000 and 2001 the testbed focused on the threat of artillery rockets and shot down 25 Katyushas fired singly and in salvos.

    The U.S. military has shot down dummy intercontinental missile warheads in tests both inside and outside the atmosphere using projectile weapons and is also examining the possible use of long-range lasers to burn up such warheads in flight.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL)



    Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser


    The Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser project funded a chemical laser weapon system assessment and hardware design and risk reduction activities supporting design. The Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL) development and integration effort was a follow-on to the combined US/Israel Tactical High Energy Laser Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (THEL ACTD) program. The goal is for the MTHEL to be deployable by a C-130 and consist of three vehicles. The laser would be based on one vehicle, the fire control radar the second, and the laser fuel on a third. The MTHEL was designed to protect soldiers from artillery and mortar rounds and rockets. the laser system can be packed into about three tractor-trailer loads. The next phase will shrink it to less than one load. Ultimately, it will be small enough to mount on a Humvee.

    The mission of the MTHEL is based on a Common Operational Requirement developed by the US Army Air Defense School and the Israeli Air Force. The work in this program is consistent with the Army Directed Energy Master Plan and the Army Modernization Plan. Work in this program is related to and fully coordinated with efforts in PE 0603308A (Army Missile Defense Systems Integration (DEM/VAL), PE 0605605 (DOD High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility) and PE 0602307A (Advanced Weapons Technology, Project 042 - High Energy Technology) in accordance with the ongoing Reliance joint planning process and contains no unwarranted duplication of effort among the military dep artments.

    Work was performed by the Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space (PEO MS), Cruise Missile Defense Systems (CMDS) Project Office in Huntsville, AL. The US Army programmed a budget plan (FYDP) of $118M for the period FY 2003 to 2007 for start of the MTHEL development effort. This budget may be supplemented by IMoD to create a combined US-Israeli MTHEL development program.

    Under the terms of the Letter of Request (LOR), Israel was expected to provide $35M in $7M increments per year, FY04 thru FY08, to support the MTHEL prototype development program. The MTHEL prototype program was restructured to provide the MTHEL prototype in FY08 with limited testing in FY09 due to Israel’s reduced funding. MTHEL risk reduction/design verification tests and static/dynamic lethality tests against an extended threat set continued thru FY05 using the existing MTHEL Testbed at HELSTF. In FY04 and FY 05, Congress added $17.0 million and $8.0 million, respectively, for the MTHEL effort.

    On 12 June 2001 TRW Inc., Redondo Beach, CA was awarded a $5,603,408 modification to cost-plus-fixed-fee contract DASG60-96-C-0155 for a MTHEL System Engineering Trade Study (SETS) for Israel. Work was performed in Redondo Beach, Calif., and was expected to be completed by Dec. 1, 2001. This is a sole source contract initiated on Feb. 28, 2001. The U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity.

    In tests during late 2002, the Army used the high-energy laser to heat artillery shells, which exploded in flight. In earlier tests, the laser shot down 25 Katyushas, both singly and in salvos. Artillery shells generate far less heat than rockets do and are more difficult to track. Also, because rockets are pressurized, they are easier to blow up than shells.

    On 05 November 2002 the Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL) demonstrator – Mobile THEL (MTHEL) testbed – tracked, locked and fired a burst of photons on an artillery projectile. Seconds later, at a point well short of its intended destination, the projectile was destroyed. The test was conducted at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF). The event occurred as part of a new series of tests to determine MTHEL testbed capabilities. The artillery projectile is only one of the many target sets to be tested. Though their diameters are nearly the same, the artillery projectile measures about two feet in length rather than the 10 feet of a Katyusha rocket. The artillery projectile’s small size, combined with the lack of heat it gives off, makes it much more difficult to track.

    On 27 June 2003 Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, CA was awarded a $12,000,000 modification to contract DASG60-96-C-0155) for 22,800 direct productive person hours (DPPH) for Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL) and testbed operations and 35,500 DPPHs for MTHEL concept and technology development. Work was performed in Redondo Beach, Calif. (48%); White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (36%); and other multiple subcontractors all over the United States (16%), and was expected to be completed by Nov. 28, 2003. There was one bid solicited on March 3, 2003, and one bid was received. The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity.

    On 21 August 2003 the U.S. Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD) selected a Northrop Grumman Corporation design concept for the Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser (MTHEL) prototype. The laser could be in use in 2007. Since development began in 1996, the Army, the Israeli Defense Ministry and TRW had spent $250 million on the project through 2002.

    The FY2005 budget request included $53.5 million in PE 63305A for Army missile defense systems integration, of which $39.0 million was for the mobile tactical high energy laser (MTHEL). The House bill would authorize the budget request. The Senate amendment would authorize an increase of $15.0 million for MTHEL. The conferees agreed to authorize an increase of $8.0 million in PE 63305A for MTHEL

    MTHEL prototype development activities continued in FY05. The MTHEL acquisition strategy is to develop and integrate an operational weapon prototype using demonstrated chemical laser, advanced beam control and supporting technologies with links into both the Israeli and US Army operational architectures. Based on the detailed System Engineering Trade Studies, and static and dynamic lethality testing, the MTHEL product office in consultation with Israel Ministry of Defense Product Office selected demonstrated technologies to be integrated into a mobile tactical high energy laser system to address a common set of missions.

    Interest from the Israeli government had hastened the development of a “mobile” (actually relocatable) THEL (MTHEL) by focusing on implementing a more compact and transportable operational version of the 3.8 micron wavelength DF laser. Evolving requirements from the customer, concerns about the logistics tail in fielding, and operating a relocatable system in a battlefield environment that employs toxic and corrosive chemicals caused the program to be terminated. As of early 2005 the THEL device was being used as a MTHEL risk reduction testbed at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF).

    As part of a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY2006 budget request for the Army, as he did when Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz appeared before the Budget Committee, Senator Pete Domenici from New Mexico asked Army Secretary Dr. Francis J. Harvey and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker to reverse the Army’s request to zero out funding for the U.S./Israeli Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL) project at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The program, for which $38.6 million was requested in 2004 for FY2005, was building a chemical laser capable of destroying enemy rockets and mortars (RAM). “MTHEL has proven successful against RAM threats. I believe we have an obligation to our troops to accelerate MTHEL operational capabilities to achieve better force protection through directed energy technology,” Domenici said.

    PE 0603305A Army Missile Defense Systems Integration Project TR3 Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser funded a chemical laser weapon system assessment and hardware design and risk reduction activities supporting design. In FY05 there was a Congressional add of $8.0 million for MTHEL in project TR3. In the FY06 budget request, all funding was realigned to higher priority requirements. With the remaining FY05 funding, PM was to perform an orderly shutdown, deliver an initial engineering design to address the current mortar and rocket threat, perform limited counter-mortar testing and prepare Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) testbed for storage. Project TR3 received an FY06 Congressional Add in the amount of $2.5 million for Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL).

    The termination of the THEL/MTHEL programs served as a significant turning point in the Army’s laser development. Employing toxic and corrosive systems in a battlefield environment that could operate with certainty in all weather conditions was a price that warfighters, even with a need for enhanced defensive system effectiveness, were unwilling to pay. This caused a reevaluation of the program’s path as compared to what had been projected at the time of the 2001 DSB assessment. Building upon the knowledge gained from THEL/MTHEL (to include acquisition and track, aim point selection, beam control, kill assessment, as well as concepts of operations, logistics, and supportability), the Army embarked on a broader-based S&T program.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Laser Weapons Better Against Rockets? | Danger Room | Wired.com

    laser Weapons Better Against Rockets?

    * By Sharon Weinberger Email Author
    * February 25, 2008 |
    * 12:00 pm |
    * Categories: Weapons and Ammo


    [​IMG]


    Skyguard_laser_defense_system The barrage of Qassam rockets landing on Israel is igniting a number of controversies in the country at the moment over defense policy, including a debate over which technology is best able to defend against such attacks. While the Israeli government is backing the domestically-built Iron Dome system, the Ha’aretz newspaper is (again) arguing that a Northrop-built laser system called Skyguard is a better technology:

    One need not be privy to classified information in order to understand that Iron Dome is not the solution to the Qassam rockets. The data are public knowledge: The Qassam’s speed in the air is 200 meters per second. The distance from the edge of Beit Hanun to the outskirts of Sderot is 1,800 meters. Therefore, a rocket launched from Beit Hanun takes about nine seconds to hit Sderot. The developers of Iron Dome at Rafael Advance Defense Systems know that the preparations to simply launch the intercept missiles at their target take up to about 15 seconds (during which time the system locates the target, determines the flight path and calculates the intercept route). Obviously, then, the Qassam will slam into Sderot quite a number of seconds before the missile meant to intercept it is even launched.

    But besides not being able to protect the border communities, Iron Dome will also not be able to cope with rockets that are launched much farther away. According to data available from Rafael, the average flight time of the intercept missile to the point of encounter is another 15 seconds. In other words, to intercept a rocket using Iron Dome requires at least 30 seconds. This is the time it takes a Qassam to cover six kilometers.

    Ha’aretz, for reasons I can’t quite understand, continues to be a one-newspaper cheer-leading squad for Northrop’s Skyguard, which started out in life with Israeli cooperation as the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL)/Nautilus. Well, it really started out in life as Then it became the the Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser, but the engineers probably snickered so much every time someone said "mobile" that the program managers finally had to ditch that word. The problem is THEL was eventually canceled for pretty good reasons: enormous development costs, large footprint, and questionable utility in real world conditions.

    Skyguard may have some niche applications, but right now it’s essentially a Northrop marketing campaign, because it doesn’t have a military customer. Also, it’s a chemical laser, and may eventually be eclipsed by solid-state laser technology. Yet at least twice now, the Israeli newspaper has declared Skyguard’s possible revival in Israel, lauding the technology:

    The major advantage of Skyguard is its use of a laser beam for interceptions. The beam travels at the speed of light, allowing the system to intercept short-range rockets like the ones aimed at Sderot. The cost of implementing the laser system is also far lower than Iron Dome. The cost of launching one laser beam will be between $1,000 and $2,000. On February 6, 2007, Mike McVey, vice president of Northrop Grumman’s Directed Energy Systems business area, sent a letter to Ehud Olmert, with copies to the defense minister at the time, Amir Peretz, and the then director general of the Defense Ministry and present chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, undertaking to install in Israel an operational system within 18 months and at a fixed price ($177 million for the first system). As far as is known, McVey has not received a reply to this day.

    Asked why Israel rejected the laser system, the Defense Ministry’s spokesman replied: "The Nautilus system is defined as exemplifying technologies and not as an operational instrument. Bringing the Nautilus system into Israel today will cost about $100 million, and it might take up to two years for the system to become active. The Nautilus system is operationally inferior to the Iron Dome system, is far more costly and does not provide an answer to volleys of missiles, as Iron Dome is meant to do. Tests of Nautilus did not achieve the goal of 100 percent hits but far less, and even that under optimal conditions, which, regrettably, do not exist in the western Negev." The reply is studded with inaccuracies, to say the least. The Nautilus / Skyguard will not be "far more costly" than Iron Dome, but probably "far less costly." Nor is it clear what the Defense Ministry spokesman is referring to when he states that Nautilus "did not achieve the goal of 100 percent hits but far less." For his part, the IDF Spokesman, who was also asked to comment on the decision not to acquire the laser system, copied the reply of the Defense Ministry spokesman. Former air force commander Major General (res.) David Ivry is one of those who favors adopting the laser system, but the ministry’s R&D directorate did not accept his position. Another former air force commander, Major General (res.) Herzl Bodinger, also tried to persuade the ministry to purchase the laser defense system, again to no avail.

    Yes, yes, everybody loves lasers. I love lasers. I’d have liked to attach a laser to the head of a frickin’ shark and take out the crack dealer who took up residence for a brief time in the alley outside my window last year, but it’s not going to happen yet. Back when Ha’aretz was on its Skygaurd kick last year, Strategy Page had a very decent explanation for why the laser was not the cure-all for Israel’s rocket woes:

    It took nine years, and over a half a billion dollars, for American and Israeli engineers to get as far as they did (one working prototype system) with THEL. Aside from the systems size and cost, there’s also the problem of lasers being weakened by clouds, fog, mist or even artificial smoke. For that reason, there’s not a lot of enthusiasm for proceeding right now on such a bulky and expensive system for use against small rockets. But by the end of the decade, a smaller, and cheaper, version will be more attractive, and more likely to be purchased.

    THEL is a bulky system, and not really mobile. Each system requires half a dozen or more large tractor trailer trucks to carry the radar, fuel supplies and laser. A new version, the MTHEL (Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser) was designed (using three tractor-trailers) and was tested. Engineers believe that MTHEL could be ready for battlefield use in about six years, at a cost of another billion dollars. In another few years, engineers believe they could create a MTHEL that could fit in a hummer.

    The costs of THEL and MTHEL were so high, that both the American and Israeli governments pulled their support earlier this year. The manufacturer put some of their own money into the project and came up with Skyguard. This is basically THEL, which is actually suited for defending an airport against someone using portable anti-aircraft missiles (like Stinger, or the Russian made SA-7) to attack aircraft landing or taking off. Skyguard would be cheaper than equipping thousands of aircraft with individual anti-missile systems. But first, THEL has to prove that it is reliable enough to stay on-line 24/7 (or nearly so), and act effectively if there is ever an attack.

    The Ha’aretz article indicated that parochial interests, i.e. the lack of cooperation with Israeli firms on the laser, may help explain why the system wasn’t selected. There’s no doubt some truth in that, but it still doesn’t mean Skyguard is really the silver bullet solution to rocket attacks.
     
  7. venom

    venom DFI Technocrat

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    A laser cannot attack 2 targets simultaneously & this is a major disadvantage.
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Lasers can possibly be used against rockets or artillery, can also possibly supplement other systems?
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Boeing Airborne Laser Team Completes 1st Airborne Test Against Instrumented Target Missile

    Boeing Airborne Laser Team Completes 1st Airborne Test Against Instrumented Target Missile


    EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Aug. 13, 2009 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Aug. 10 successfully completed the Airborne Laser's (ABL) first in-flight test against an instrumented target missile, achieving a historic milestone.
    During the test, the modified Boeing 747-400F aircraft took off from Edwards Air Force Base and used its infrared sensors to find a target missile launched from San Nicolas Island, Calif. The Boeing-developed battle management system aboard ABL then issued engagement and target location instructions to the beam control/fire control system, which acquired the target and fired its two solid-state illuminator lasers to track the target and measure atmospheric conditions. ABL then fired a surrogate high-energy laser at the target, simulating a missile intercept. Instrumentation on the target verified that the surrogate high-energy laser hit the target.
    "This test demonstrates that the Airborne Laser can fully engage an in-flight missile with its battle management and beam control/fire control systems," said Michael Rinn, Boeing vice president and ABL program director. "Pointing and focusing a laser beam on a target that is rocketing skyward at thousands of miles per hour is no easy task, but the Airborne Laser is uniquely able to do the job."
    The test follows ABL's engagement of two un-instrumented missiles in early June, which allowed the team to fine-tune the engagement sequence.
    ABL will now undergo flight tests in which the aircraft will fire its high-energy laser, first into an onboard calorimeter, then through its beam control/fire control system. The ABL team then will test the entire weapon system against in-flight missiles, culminating with ABL's first high-energy laser intercept test against a ballistic missile later this year.
    ABL would deter potential adversaries and provide speed-of-light capability to destroy all classes of ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight. Eliminating missiles in their boost phase would reduce the number of shots required by other elements of the layered ballistic missile defense system.
    "ABL's revolutionary speed, mobility, precision and lethality would make it a great asset to America's warfighters," Rinn added.
    Boeing is the prime contractor and overall systems integrator for ABL, and provides the modified aircraft and battle management system. Northrop Grumman supplies the high-energy laser, and Lockheed Martin provides the beam control/fire control system.

    A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
     
  10. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    Anyone familiar with the GDI Ion cannon from command and conquer series. I would love to see such things operational.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India plans to use laser weapons in Ballistic Missile Defence - dnaindia.com

    India plans to use laser weapons in Ballistic Missile Defence

    New Delhi: India is planning to develop a laser based weapon system as part of its Ballistic Missile Defence to intercept and destroy missiles soon after they are launched towards the country.


    "If you have a laser based system on an airborne or seaborne platform, it can travel at the speed of light and in a few seconds, we can kill a ballistic missile coming towards us," DRDO's Air Defence Programme director VK Saraswat said here.

    He said the laser based interceptor will give "more time" to the BMD system to kill ballistic missile launched from a distance of 2000 kms.

    "Suppose if the missile is being launched at Indian target from 2000 km. If I have to kill it there, I will have to travel that distance, which will require many minutes to be there. If you have a laser system travelling at a speed of light, it can kill that missile in its boost phase (just after launch) even before it has travelled a few 100 kilometers," Saraswat, who is chief controller R&D, said.

    A ballistic missile take-off has three segments. When launched, it is called boost phase, and followed by the mid course when it reaches the highest point of its trajectory and lastly the terminal phase when it is coming close to the target on ground.

    Saraswat said its ideal to destroy a ballistic missile carrying nuclear or conventional warhead in its boost phase.

    "It's easier to kill a missile in boost phase as it has not gained much speed and is easier to target. It cannot deploy any countermeasures and it is vulnerable at that time," Saraswat said.

    The distinguished scientist stated that DRDO laboratories like The Laser and Science Technology Centre (LASTEC) was also developing such technologies.

    "In LASTEC, we are developing many of these technologies.We have to package these technologies on aircraft like the Americans have done on their systems," he added.

    Saraswat added that it will take another 10-15 years for the premier defence research institute to make it usable on ground.

    "It is an involved process and not just about producing lasers. We have to put in many systems like the surveillance and tracking systems together for such a system to work. It will take another 10-15 years before we talk of integrating all these elements," he said.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Re-Deployable High-Energy Laser System from Boeing | Frontier India Strategic and Defence - News, Analysis, Opinion - Aviation, Military, Commodity, Energy, Transportation, Conflict, Environment, Intelligence, Internal Security

    Re-Deployable High-Energy Laser System from Boeing

    March 24th, 2009


    Boeing has successfully demonstrated its Re-Deployable High-Energy Laser System (RHELS) by quickly relocating the prototype weapon system from its Albuquerque development site to a test range, where it tracked ground and airborne targets and fired at a ground target.
    RHELS integrates a solid-state, thin-disk laser; an acquisition, pointing and tracking capability; beam control, fire control and thermal management systems; and a weapons operator console into a modified 40-foot-long shipping container transportable on a semitrailer.

    Boeing began the two-week-long test Feb. 23 by packing up RHELS at its Albuquerque facility, moving it to a local government facility in Albuquerque and setting it up there, all in only a few hours. With the system status re-established, RHELS then tracked in-flight aircraft and moving and stationary ground vehicles, and successfully fired its laser, hitting a remote target board on the ground. Due to test-range restrictions, the system did not fire at moving targets.
    “RHELS demonstrates that a solid-state, high-energy laser weapon system can be transportable, rugged, supportable and affordable,” said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems. “RHELS drives tactical directed-energy laser systems out of the laboratory and into the hands of the warfighter. Its transportability also means developers and warfighters have the opportunity to test this transformational, ultra-precision directed-energy weapon system at a number of ranges under varying conditions and against a diverse set of targets.”
    In future tests, RHELS will fire its laser at in-flight targets and moving ground vehicles. RHELS is designed to engage rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) projectiles, shoulder-fired missiles and unmanned aircraft, as well as a variety of ground-mobile tactical targets.
    RHELS is a Boeing-funded initiative to show that directed energy weapons are maturing and are relevant to today’s battlefield. It also provides key lessons for the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD), a truck-mounted, high-energy laser, counter-RAM weapon system that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Army.
    “RHELS reduces risk for HEL TD in a controlled but realistic setting,” said Lee Gutheinz, Boeing program director for High-Energy Laser/Electro-Optical Systems. “It confirms the functionality of a compact, reliable and highly efficient laser system while maintaining future scalability to many tens of kilowatts of laser power.”
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India eyes laser weapons in missile defence

    India eyes laser weapons in missile defence

    India is planning to develop a laser-based weapon system as part of its Ballistic Missile Defence to intercept and destroy missiles soon after they are launched towards the country.

    "If you have a laser based system on an airborne or seaborne platform, it can travel at the speed of light and in a few seconds, we can kill a ballistic missile coming towards us," DRDO's Air Defence Programme Director V K Saraswat told PTI in New Delhi [Images].


    He said the laser-based interceptor will give 'more time' to the BMD system to kill a ballistic missile launched from a distance of 2000 km.


    "Suppose if the missile is being launched at Indian target from 2000 km. If I have to kill it there, I will have to travel that distance, which will require many minutes to be there. If you have a laser system travelling at a speed of light, it can kill that missile in its boost phase (just after launch) even before it has travelled a few 100 km," Saraswat, who is Chief Controller R&D, said.


    A ballistic missile take-off has three segments. When launched, it is called boost phase, and followed by the mid course when it reaches the highest point of its trajectory and lastly the terminal phase when it is coming close to the target on ground.


    Saraswat said its ideal to destroy a ballistic missile carrying nuclear or conventional warhead in its boost phase.


    "It's easier to kill a missile in boost phase as it has not gained much speed and is easier to target. It cannot deploy any countermeasures and it is vulnerable at that time," Saraswat said.


    The distinguished scientist stated that DRDO laboratories like The Laser and Science Technology Centre (LASTEC) was also developing such technologies.


    "In LASTEC, we are developing many of these technologies. We have to package these technologies on aircraft like the Americans have done on their systems," he added.


    Saraswat added that it will take another 10-15 years for the premier defence research institute to make it usable on ground.
     
  14. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, 10-15 years is a long time, that means we are not looking at laser beam weapons anytime before 2020-25. A lot is gonna change in the subcontinent in the next 10-15 years. Pakistan will surely get its hand on more advanced ballistic missiles possibly armed MIRV warheads. and also both Pakistan and China will start fielding their own versions of anti-ballistic missile systems. Hope we have something reliable in our arsenal in terms of ABM systems till then.
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/US_Laser_Raygun_Plane_Shoots_Down_Ballistic_Missile_999.html


    US Laser "Raygun" Plane Shoots Down Ballistic Missile

    Boeing and industry teammates and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency have successfully demonstrated the speed, precision and breakthrough potential of directed-energy weapons when the Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) engaged and destroyed a boosting ballistic missile.

    This experiment marks the first time a laser weapon has engaged and destroyed an in-flight ballistic missile, and the first time that any system has accomplished it in the missile's boost phase of flight. ALTB has the highest-energy laser ever fired from an aircraft, and is the most powerful mobile laser device in the world.

    "The Airborne Laser Testbed team has made history with this experiment," said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems.

    "Through its hard work and technical ingenuity, the government-industry team has produced a breakthrough with incredible potential. We look forward to conducting additional research and development to explore what this unique directed-energy system can do."

    During the experiment, the aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-400F, took off from Edwards Air Force Base and focused its high-energy laser at the missile target during its boost phase as the aircraft flew over the Western Sea Range off the coast of California.

    "We've been saying for some time that the Airborne Laser Testbed would be a pathfinder for directed energy and would expand options for policymakers and warfighters," said Michael Rinn, Boeing vice president and ALTB program director.

    "With this successful experiment, the Airborne Laser Testbed has blazed a path for a new generation of high-energy, ultra-precision weaponry.

    "ALTB technology and future directed-energy platforms will transform how the United States defends itself and its friends and allies. Having the capability to precisely project force, in a measured way, at the speed of light, will save lives."

    MDA officially recognized directed energy's warfare-changing potential last March, when it awarded its Technology Pioneer Award to three Boeing Airborne Laser Testbed engineers and three of their government and industry teammates for advancing key ALTB technologies.

    Boeing is the prime contractor for the Airborne Laser Testbed, which is designed to provide unprecedented speed-of-light capability to intercept all classes of ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight.

    [​IMG]


    Two Northrop Grumman Lasers Turn Science Fiction Into Fact
    Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Feb 15 - The Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) transitioned from science fiction to directed energy fact Feb. 11 when it put a lethal amount of 'light on target' to destroy a boosting ballistic missile with help from a megawatt-class laser developed by Northrop Grumman.

    While ballistic missiles like the one ALTB destroyed move at speeds of about 4,000 miles per hour, they are no match for a super-heated, high-energy laser beam racing towards it at 670 million mph. The basketball-sized beam was focused on the foreign military asset, as the missile is called officially, for only a few seconds before a stress fracture developed, causing the target to catastrophically split into multiple pieces.

    "This experiment shows the incredible potential for directed energy as a premier element in early or ascent phase missile defense," said Steve Hixson, vice president of Space and Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "The demonstration leaves no doubt whatsoever about ALTB's unprecedented mobility, precision and lethality," he added. Hixson is a former ALTB program manager for the company.

    Northrop Grumman executives said the high-energy Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser the company provides - the most powerful laser ever developed for an airborne environment - performed reliably once again with other critical capabilities onboard the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's ALTB. This includes the low-power, solid-state Beacon Illuminator Laser for atmospheric compensation, a targeting laser Northrop Grumman also supplies for the ALTB system.

    "The continued dependable and consistent performance of both laser systems is the result of our dedicated team and its unwavering commitment to develop game-changing technology for our military forces," said Guy Renard, Northrop Grumman's ALTB program manager. "The impressive progress made by the government and industry team during the last three-and-a-half years could not have culminated any more dramatically than this successful experiment."

    The experiment, a proof-of-concept demonstration, was the first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an airborne platform.

    Northrop Grumman is under contract to The Boeing Company, ALTB's prime contractor, for the two laser systems. The ALTB is a modified Boeing 747-400F whose back half holds the high-energy laser. The front section of the aircraft contains the beam control/fire control system, developed by Lockheed Martin, and the battle management system, provided by Boeing.
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Singapore_to_get_Israels_Iron_Dome_999.html

    Singapore 'to get Israel's Iron Dome'

    by Staff Writers
    Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Apr 02, 2009
    Singapore is reported to be acquiring Israel's new Iron Dome anti-missile air-defense system under a once-secret military cooperation pact with the Jewish state that dates to the 1960s.
    Indeed, according to the Paris Intelligence Online Web site, Singapore helped finance the development of the system by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

    It says that Iron Dome was always intended for the island, a key Asian shipping hub and one of the richest per capita states in the world, because of its strategic location as a trading center.

    The Israeli air force, which runs the Jewish state's air defense network, completed test-firings of the system in January and the first battery is currently becoming operational.

    Israeli media reports say the missiles, designed to shoot down hostile missiles with ranges of up to 25 miles, are being deployed along Israel's northern border with Lebanon.

    There are growing fears of a new Middle Eastern war and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite movement in Lebanon, has an arsenal of up to 45,000 rockets and missiles, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has claimed.

    Israel's defense links with largely Chinese Singapore go back to 1965, shortly after the island city-state, a former British colony off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, split from the Federation of Malaysia.

    Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, wanted to establish a military to defend Singapore, which has a landmass of only 274 square miles, since it was ringed by Muslim nations -- as is Israel.

    He turned to the Jewish state, through the Israeli ambassador in Thailand, for help. Israel sent a military mission led by Maj. Gen. Rehavam Ze'evi, then deputy head of the military's operations branch. (Ze'evi was assassinated in Jerusalem by Palestinian gunmen in October 2001.)

    Lee insisted on secrecy because he didn't want to antagonize his Muslim neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia. The team of Israeli instructors arrived in October 1965. Lee wrote in his 2000 autobiography: "To disguise their presence, we called them 'Mexicans.' They looked swarthy enough."

    Today, Singapore's armed forces, 72,500-strong, are considered one of the most advanced militaries in Southeast Asia.

    Iron Dome will be a crucial element in Singapore's drive to build a defensive shield around one of the world's biggest and most important ports.

    Israel is determining how many batteries of Iron Dome and two other systems that will make up its planned multi-layered missile shield, will be required. Each battery, which costs $50 million, can cover an area of around 60 square miles, which means 13 of them would be needed to cover all of Israel.

    The Arrow-2 high-altitude anti-missile system, the only tier to be fully tested and established, cost some $2 billion to develop, largely with U.S. funds.

    Israel shunned buying already developed U.S. systems, which would be cheaper. So far, the Defense Ministry has budgeted for one Iron Dome battery but will clearly need several more.

    "So why develop such an expensive system, instead of acquiring Raytheon's cheaper Centurion system?" Intelligence Online asked.

    "Some Israeli arms programs are too costly for the local market and are developed principally for export. Iron Dome is a typical example.

    "From the outset, Iron Dome was always intended for Singapore, which helped finance its development," Intelligence Online explained. "Iron Dome will be battle-tested in Israel ahead of export to Singapore at a late date."

    Singapore has bought Israeli weapons systems extensively over the years and Israeli defense companies regularly participate at the annual Singapore Air Show.

    Israeli Aerospace Industries, state-owned flagship of Israel's defense industry, has sold Singapore the Barak-1 naval anti-aircraft system. Rafael's electronic warfare systems are widely deployed with the Singapore navy.

    IAI upgraded the Singapore air force's old 1960s-era Northrop F-5 Tiger fighters, and with Elbit Systems and Singapore Aerospace won a contract in 1997 to modernize Turkey's fleet of F-5A/B and NF-5A/B aircraft fighter jets.

    Singapore has also acquired unmanned aerial vehicles from Elbit and Rafael for surveillance to enhance maritime security in the Malacca Strait and the South China Sea.
     
  17. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20100216/157899270.html

    How real is the threat of laser weapons?

    On February 12, 2010, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) used the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) mounted on a Boeing B-747 jumbo jet to shoot down a liquid-propellant and a solid-propellant target missile.

    The ALTB project is one of the MDA's most ambitious and long-term programs. Washington launched its initial research in this sphere in the 1970s. At that time, an NKC-135-ALL aircraft, a modified version of the KC-135 Stratotanker, was built and used as an airborne laboratory.

    United Technologies built a 10-ton, 04-0.5-MWt CO2 laser system for the program. The NKC-135-ALL was involved in a series of tests in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. Although the tests proved that a laser weapon was feasible, it had a range of just a few kilometers and therefore lacked any military prospects.

    In 1985, a laser weapon used in ground tests heated up the stationary fuel tank of a Titan-1 intercontinental ballistic missile simulating a Soviet ICBM a thousand meters away causing it to explode.

    Such tests, as well as the NKC-135-ALL program, were conducted under the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program. However it was impossible to develop a feasible missile defense system based on airborne laser weapons because most of the technical problems remained unsolved.

    The Soviet Union also implemented an airborne laser weapon program and built a Beriev A-60 aircraft, an upgraded version of the Il-76 transport aircraft. Although Moscow virtually mothballed the program after the break-up of the U.S.S.R. in late 1991, the media reported last year that it had been resumed.

    The United States resumed work on airborne laser weapons in the late 1990s after the issue of implementing the National Missile Defense Program (NMD) was raised. Initially there were plans to build two prototype and five production aircraft by 2012.

    However, it was later decided to scale down the program, due to skyrocketing costs. Although a prototype aircraft was scheduled to be completed by 2012, Washington decided not to build it and retained only one YAL-1 prototype, work on which began in 2000.

    What is the ALTB's potential? Although there is no exhaustive information on the February 12 tests, some conclusions can be drawn on the basis of available reports.

    The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL) weapons system has three laser systems, namely, a Track Illuminator Laser (TILL) for illuminating the target and adjusting the parameters of the laser weapon's optical system, a Beacon Illuminator Laser (BILL) for reducing atmospheric aberration, and the six-module High-Energy Laser (HEL) weapon system.

    The YAL-1 can hit ballistic missiles during their boost phase and has a range of 200-250 km. The effective range is limited by the laser unit's power, the laser beam's atmospheric dissipation, atmospheric aberration affecting siting accuracy and the laser-beam gas breakdown effect which has not yet been eliminated. Moreover, an excessively powerful laser unit could overheat the fuselage and cause the plane to crash.

    These factors and the system's low rate of fire currently make it possible only to intercept individual missiles at short range. It appears that such systems will be unable to neutralize an all-out nuclear strike in the next 20-30 years.

    Speaking of a hypothetical Russian-U.S. conflict, airborne laser weapons would have to be deployed in Russian air space in order to be able to intercept Russian missiles in their boost phase and during the separation of their multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs). In fact, they would have only 3-5 minutes to accomplish this objective.

    However, even Russia's problem-ridden air-defense system would not allow a B-747 to roam free in national air space.

    Airborne laser weapons present a greater threat to strategic ballistic missile submarines which either patrol Russian territorial waters or international waters. However, there is one limitation. As the submarines spend most of their time underwater, laser-carrying aircraft could not quickly reach the optimal firing position necessary for a successful missile interception.

    Consequently, this project's current version threatens only countries such as Iran or North Korea which have a small territory and are therefore unable to deploy missile bases far from their borders.

    In the next several decades, the potential for laser weapons may be enhanced, especially if it becomes possible to deploy them on hypersonic suborbital platforms operating in the upper atmosphere where laser dissipation is minimized.

    However, it would be pointless to deploy such weapons aboard spacecraft, unless payload mass is increased drastically because it would otherwise prove impossible to orbit high-power laser units.

    It is impossible to struggle against the development of laser weapons. Practical experience shows that legal documents seldom effectively limit technical progress. Consequently, we must start preparing for a new round of the arms race now.

    It is common knowledge that Russia is currently developing new-generation ballistic missiles which will be able to breach missile-defense systems with laser weapons. This objective can be accomplished by reducing a missile's boost phase, enhancing the maneuverability along this flight leg, etc. Analysts are discussing other measures that can shield missiles from laser beams.

    Naturally, Russia must conduct independent research in this area to be able to manufacture airborne laser weapons and to effectively cope with similar enemy systems. Media reports about the reinstatement of the A-60 program are particularly important in this context.

    MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik)

    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/146958

    Are laser weapons really a threat???

    The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) used the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) mounted on a Boeing B-747 jumbo jet to shoot down a liquid-propellant and a solid-propellant target missile.

    The ALTB project is one of the MDA's most ambitious and long-term programs. Washington launched its initial research in this sphere in the 1970s. At that time, an NKC-135-ALL aircraft, a modified version of the KC-135 Stratotanker, was built and used as an airborne laboratory.

    United Technologies built a 10-ton, 04-0.5-MWt CO2 laser system for the program. The NKC-135-ALL was involved in a series of tests in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. Although the tests proved that a laser weapon was feasible, it had a range of just a few kilometers and therefore lacked any military prospects.

    In 1985, a laser weapon used in ground tests heated up the stationary fuel tank of a Titan-1 intercontinental ballistic missile simulating a Soviet ICBM a thousand meters away causing it to explode.

    Such tests, as well as the NKC-135-ALL program, were conducted under the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program. However it was impossible to develop a feasible missile defense system based on airborne laser weapons because most of the technical problems remained unsolved.

    The Soviet Union also implemented an airborne laser weapon program and built a Beriev A-60 aircraft, an upgraded version of the Il-76 transport aircraft. Although Moscow virtually mothballed the program after the break-up of the U.S.S.R. in late 1991, the media reported last year that it had been resumed.

    The United States resumed work on airborne laser weapons in the late 1990s after the issue of implementing the National Missile Defense Program (NMD) was raised. Initially there were plans to build two prototype and five production aircraft by 2012.

    However, it was later decided to scale down the program, due to skyrocketing costs. Although a prototype aircraft was scheduled to be completed by 2012, Washington decided not to build it and retained only one YAL-1 prototype, work on which began in 2000.

    What is the ALTB's potential? Although there is no exhaustive information on the February 12 tests, some conclusions can be drawn on the basis of available reports.

    The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL) weapons system has three laser systems, namely, a Track Illuminator Laser (TILL) for illuminating the target and adjusting the parameters of the laser weapon's optical system, a Beacon Illuminator Laser (BILL) for reducing atmospheric aberration, and the six-module High-Energy Laser (HEL) weapon system.

    The YAL-1 can hit ballistic missiles during their boost phase and has a range of 200-250 km. The effective range is limited by the laser unit's power, the laser beam's atmospheric dissipation, atmospheric aberration affecting siting accuracy and the laser-beam gas breakdown effect which has not yet been eliminated. Moreover, an excessively powerful laser unit could overheat the fuselage and cause the plane to crash.


    These factors and the system's low rate of fire currently make it possible only to intercept individual missiles at short range. It appears that such systems will be unable to neutralize an all-out nuclear strike in the next 20-30 years.

    Speaking of a hypothetical Russian-U.S. conflict, airborne laser weapons would have to be deployed in Russian air space in order to be able to intercept Russian missiles in their boost phase and during the separation of their multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs). In fact, they would have only 3-5 minutes to accomplish this objective.

    However, even Russia's problem-ridden air-defense system would not allow a B-747 to roam free in national air space.

    Airborne laser weapons present a greater threat to strategic ballistic missile submarines which either patrol Russian territorial waters or international waters. However, there is one limitation. As the submarines spend most of their time underwater, laser-carrying aircraft could not quickly reach the optimal firing position necessary for a successful missile interception.

    Consequently, this project's current version threatens only countries such as Iran or North Korea which have a small territory and are therefore unable to deploy missile bases far from their borders.

    In the next several decades, the potential for laser weapons may be enhanced, especially if it becomes possible to deploy them on hypersonic suborbital platforms operating in the upper atmosphere where laser dissipation is minimized.

    However, it would be pointless to deploy such weapons aboard spacecraft, unless payload mass is increased drastically because it would otherwise prove impossible to orbit high-power laser units.

    It is impossible to struggle against the development of laser weapons. Practical experience shows that legal documents seldom effectively limit technical progress. Consequently, we must start preparing for a new round of the arms race now.

    It is common knowledge that Russia is currently developing new-generation ballistic missiles which will be able to breach missile-defense systems with laser weapons. This objective can be accomplished by reducing a missile's boost phase, enhancing the maneuverability along this flight leg, etc. Analysts are discussing other measures that can shield missiles from laser beams.

    Naturally, Russia must conduct independent research in this area to be able to manufacture airborne laser weapons and to effectively cope with similar enemy systems. Media reports about the reinstatement of the A-60 program are particularly important in this context.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14520-us-boasts-of-laser-weapons-plausible-deniability.html

    US boasts of laser weapon's 'plausible deniability'

    An airborne laser weapon dubbed the "long-range blowtorch" has the added benefit that the US could convincingly deny any involvement with the destruction it causes, say senior officials of the US Air Force (USAF).

    The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) is to be mounted on a Hercules military transport plane. Boeing announced the first test firing of the laser, from a plane on the ground, earlier this summer.

    Cynthia Kaiser, chief engineer of the US Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate, used the phrase "plausible deniability" to describe the weapon's benefits in a briefing (powerpoint format) on laser weapons to the New Mexico Optics Industry Association in June.
    Plausibly deniable

    John Corley, director of USAF's Capabilities Integration Directorate, used the same phrase to describe the weapon's benefits at an Air Armament Symposium in Florida in October 2007 (see page 15, pdf format).

    As the term suggests, "plausible deniability" is used to describe situations where those responsible for an event could plausibly claim to have had no involvement in it.

    Corley and Kaiser did not respond to requests from New Scientist to expand on their comments. But John Pike, analyst with defence think-tank Global Security, based in Virginia, says the implications are clear.

    "The target would never know what hit them," says Pike. "Further, there would be no munition fragments that could be used to identify the source of the strike."
    Silent strike

    A laser beam is silent and invisible. An ATL can deliver the heat of a blowtorch with a range of 20 kilometres, depending on conditions. That range is great enough that the aircraft carrying it might not be seen, especially at night.

    With no previous examples for comparison, it may be difficult to discern whether damage to a vehicle or person was the result of a laser strike.

    The 5.5-tonne ATL combines chlorine and hydrogen peroxide molecules to release energy, which is used in turn to stimulate iodine into releasing intense infra-red light.

    The US uses Hercules aircraft for accurate cannon strikes on moving vehicles. The ATL is touted as bringing a new level of accuracy to such attacks, for example being able to pinpoint a vehicle's tyres to disable it safely.

    A second, larger version of the laser is also nearing initial testing. The much larger Airborne Laser is intended for missile defence and will be carried by a Boeing 747.
     
  21. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Cross-Posting

    Navy's drone death ray takes out targets

    [​IMG]

    For years, the U.S. Navy has been pursuing a workable ray gun that could provide a leap ahead in ship self-defenses.

    Now, with a series of tests of a system called the Laser Weapon System, or LaWS), it may be one step closer to that goal.

    Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the service's technology development arm, announced today that LaWS had "successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed" a drone in flight, during an over-the-water engagement at San Nicholas Island, California.

    It's certainly not the first time lasers have shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle -- last year, the Air Force zapped several drones with beam weapons in a series of tests at China Lake, California, -- but this test brings an additional bit of realism -- and an extra technical challenge.

    Laser beams can lose strength as they move through the moist, salty sea atmosphere above the sea, so the Navy needs directed-energy weapons that can work effectively on ships.

    The LaWS is essentially a laser upgrade to the MK 15 Close In Weapon System (CIWS), a.k.a. the Phalanx gun, a radar-guided autocannon that is already installed on Navy surface combatants.

    According to NAVSEA, the system tested (shown here) fired a laser through a beam director installed on a tracking mount, which in turn was controlled by a Mk 15 CIWS. That's the basically same system that controls the Phalanx.

    It represents a possible next step for the Phalanx system, which is currently limited by the range of its 20mm autocannon (Raytheon, manufacturer of the Phalanx, is also marketing a missile system to replace the gun).

    The Phalanx is a last line of defense against sea-skimming anti-ship missiles and hostile aircraft, but the laser wouldn't replace the gun completely.

    Theoretically, directed energy weapons would increase the range of the system, but you would still have the gun as a backup if the laser fails to do the job.

    LaWS might also have other applications: land-based Phalanx guns have been used to shoot down incoming rockets and mortars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a laser Phalanx could -- theoretically -- avoid the problem of the "20mm shower" (unexploded rounds falling back to earth).

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/inn...ath.ray.wired/
     

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