1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    cucumber's Avatar
    August 2012
    805 Posts


    It was science fiction before, but now it's really happening, Young Skywalker: The US Navy and Air Force are going to install liquid-cooled, solid-state lasers in combat airplanes. Laser turrets designed to defend the planes by shooting incoming threats like surface-to-air missiles and rockets. Seriously. The above is an official concept image by DARPA, but integration is happening this year, with real firing tests coming in 2014.

    The USAF has been playing with lasers in planes for a while. They worked to create the the highly successful—but ultimately shelved—Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed. Remember Reagan's Star Wars? This was one of the few technologies that we got to work outside those 3D animations that scared the Soviets so much.

    But that was a huge megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser designed to take down intercontinental ballistic missiles and other surface-to-surface weapons. That's why it required a 747 to ferry it around.

    These are solid-state lasers that will be light enough to be installed in bombers and fighter jets, and will be fired to defend themselves against anti-air defenses like surface-to-air missiles and rockets.

    The first one is called Hellads, a laser planned to be installed in tactical aircraft (the one pictured above is a B-1 bomber). Using a series of unit cells, the laser will be capable of delivering 150kW—meeting the their 5 kilogram to one kilowatt design goal. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has already showed that they can meet the spec with a single and two-unit system that was capable of producing 34kW. This kind of energy is enough to take down the threats faced by these planes.

    General Atomics and DARPA say that fabrication was completed in 2012. In 2013 they will integrate it with the different systems required and, by 2014, perform real-world tests against real threats fired at the planes.

    And the Hellads is not the only self-defense laser the military is playing with. Lockheed Martin and DARPA are now entering a test phase for another self-defense laser, the Aero-Adaptive/Aero-Optic Beam Control. This will be like the an automatic laser turret capable of taking down missile threats from any direction. According to DARPA, they weren't previously able to make this system work because of the turbulence caused by the engine:

    High-energy laser systems are currently limited to a forward field of regard due to turbulent density fluctuations in the aft sector of the turret that severely degrade the laser beam fluence on target.

    The new laser will be able to take on rear threats by using flow control and adaptive optics, which will eliminate the distortion. Like the concept image indicates, they plan to install this laser in high speed fighter jets.

    According to Lockheed and DARPA, they have already conducted full-scale wind-tunnel tests and now they are looking to install a sub-scale laser turret in an actual plane.
    Source

    (User was banned for this post ("Quoted entire article" - Orkel))
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Azerbaijan Show Events Winner Winner x 50Useful Useful x 1Funny Funny x 1 (list)

  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    Sgt Doom's Avatar
    March 2005
    20,034 Posts
    Let's give 'em an air show.

    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Show Events Winner Winner x 44Funny Funny x 4Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  3. Post #3
    Gold Member
    winsanity's Avatar
    April 2009
    1,804 Posts
    Soon.

    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 8 United States Show Events Agree x 22Optimistic x 3Dumb x 1Winner x 1Artistic x 1Disagree x 1 (list)

  4. Post #4
    Unit-05's Avatar
    November 2006
    180 Posts
    with the introduction of highly efficient anti-missile laser systems and with the introduction to the super strong yet super light and paper like materials such as graphene, is it possible we could be seeing airships in service in the future?
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Canada Show Events Funny Funny x 11Disagree Disagree x 4Optimistic Optimistic x 2 (list)

  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    Doom14's Avatar
    October 2006
    5,867 Posts
    Talks about high-speed fighters. Draw a green laser on an 1970s B-1 Lancer strategic bomber. Genius
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Funny Funny x 21 (list)

  6. Post #6
    Best Woofie On Facepunch!
    Fangz's Avatar
    July 2007
    6,051 Posts
    Check the G-fuser Stablizer System!
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United States Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  7. Post #7
    U.S.S.R's Avatar
    December 2010
    3,816 Posts
    Talks about high-speed fighters. Draw a green laser on an old B-1 Lancer. Genius
    Using such advanced rendering , photo-manipulation drawing software for visual accuracy, like Microsoft Paint.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows Vista United States Show Events Funny Funny x 2 (list)

  8. Post #8
    Dennab
    September 2011
    3,417 Posts
    Let's give 'em an air show.

    C&C Generals Zero Hour becomes reality when USA switches to Laser General mode.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 8 Finland Show Events Funny Funny x 12Winner Winner x 2 (list)

  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    Sgt Doom's Avatar
    March 2005
    20,034 Posts
    with the introduction of highly efficient anti-missile laser systems and with the introduction to the super strong yet super light and paper like materials such as graphene, is it possible we could be seeing airships in service in the future?
    Even if graphene could make an airship impervious to regular HE rounds, missiles and whatnot (unlikely), I doubt they'd stand up to APFSDS rounds. Just shove a few of them down the pipe of a revived Flak 88 or something.

  10. Post #10
    I fought the bet and the bet won.
    laserguided's Avatar
    October 2012
    8,810 Posts
    If it can only aim the laser forwards, could they not just coat the missile's with reflective material?
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Canada Show Events Winner Winner x 14Funny Funny x 3 (list)

  11. Post #11
    No such thing as overkill.
    catbarf's Avatar
    January 2007
    7,812 Posts
    About time. The current generation of missiles, both infrared-seeking and radar-guided, is intelligent enough to be more or less immune to flares and chaff. If a plane gets a lock, it's probably a kill, and it's cheaper to develop an aggressive defense countermeasure than to try to improve electronic warfare capabilities.

    It doesn't even have to destroy the missile (unlikely, since lasers are extremely inefficient), just burn out the seeker head. My concern is I wonder what they're intending to use as a power source for a sufficiently powerful laser.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Sgt Doom's Avatar
    March 2005
    20,034 Posts
    If it can only aim the laser forwards, could they not just coat the missile's with reflective material?
    Didn't the Russians take that into account with the Topol-M? Either that, or they designed it to spin so the laser can't heat up a specific point fast enough.

  13. Post #13
    No such thing as overkill.
    catbarf's Avatar
    January 2007
    7,812 Posts
    If it can only aim the laser forwards, could they not just coat the missile's with reflective material?
    If a missile is aimed towards the defending plane, the nose is the only visible part. Since the nose contains the seeker head, which can't be screened without compromising its effectiveness, it's much easier to destroy the seeker, causing the missile to lose guidance, than to try to burn through and cause a sympathetic detonation.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 3Informative Informative x 1 (list)

  14. Post #14
    I fought the bet and the bet won.
    laserguided's Avatar
    October 2012
    8,810 Posts
    If a missile is aimed towards the defending plane, the nose is the only visible part. Since the nose contains the seeker head, which can't be screened without compromising its effectiveness, it's much easier to destroy the seeker, causing the missile to lose guidance, than to try to burn through and cause a sympathetic detonation.
    Not if the missile has a conical seeker head.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Canada Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    _Kent_'s Avatar
    June 2009
    2,355 Posts
    If this laser technology is effective enough at shooting down missiles, does that mean piulots will have to go in close and dogfight in the future?
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 9Optimistic Optimistic x 3 (list)

  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    January 2012
    1,310 Posts
    King Raptor here.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United Kingdom Show Events Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    ASmellyOgre's Avatar
    June 2008
    4,495 Posts
    If this laser technology is effective enough at shooting down missiles, does that mean piulots will have to go in close and dogfight in the future?
    No, probably just stealth missiles. Or firing enough that they can't shoot them all down. Dogfighting is pretty much impossible in modern supersonic jets due to the sheer speed they move at.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 13Informative Informative x 1 (list)

  18. Post #18
    Gold Member
    Joazzz's Avatar
    June 2008
    23,789 Posts
    rev up that LAMS tech

  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    Rapist's Avatar
    February 2011
    4,701 Posts
    Not lasers!
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Estonia Show Events Agree Agree x 3 (list)

  20. Post #20
    I fought the bet and the bet won.
    laserguided's Avatar
    October 2012
    8,810 Posts
    No, probably just stealth missiles. Or firing enough that they can't shoot them all down. Dogfighting is pretty much impossible in modern supersonic jets due to the sheer speed they move at.
    If both sides are developing lasers to shoot down incoming missiles (which they are), then it just means more dogfights. Which means maneuverability is again a requirement. Which is why jets are equipped with cannon and short range missiles.

    I have to doubt the effectiveness of these laser countermeasures, because it would probably take a lot of power to burn through a missile head. Plus, its expensive for no gain if your enemy shoots more than 1 missile, or said missile has counter measures to these theoretical laser countermeasures.. such as spinning or reflective coatings.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Canada Show Events Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    Rapist's Avatar
    February 2011
    4,701 Posts
    Solid state lasers are really cool, especially if they have short burst fire. Someone on youtube built a handheld one that fires through plastic.

  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    S31-Syntax's Avatar
    October 2007
    9,812 Posts
    If this laser technology is effective enough at shooting down missiles, does that mean piulots will have to go in close and dogfight in the future?
    And then we come full circle.

  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    Doom14's Avatar
    October 2006
    5,867 Posts
    Dogfighting isn't impossible, it is bound to happen if BVR doesn't result in jets going down. Jet dogfights are faster and quicker, but dogfights are still possible. Which is why jets are equipped with cannon and short range missiles.

    USA really learned how huge of a mistake it was to have missile-only jets after WWII.

    I wonder though, if laser tech advances to the point of being as powerful/conventional as machine guns and cannons - will jets eventually phase those two out, or retain both?

    Jets are gonna be pretty fucking scary if they have missiles, bombs, lasers AND cannons. Next thing we know, railguns.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Funny Funny x 6 (list)

  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    S31-Syntax's Avatar
    October 2007
    9,812 Posts
    Solid state lasers are really cool, especially if they have short burst fire. Someone on youtube built a handheld one that fires through plastic.
    Liiiink

  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    trotskygrad's Avatar
    June 2011
    8,505 Posts
    If both sides are developing lasers to shoot down incoming missiles (which they are), then it just means more dogfights. Which means maneuverability is again a requirement. Which is why jets are equipped with cannon and short range missiles.

    I have to doubt the effectiveness of these laser countermeasures, because it would probably take a lot of power to burn through a missile head. Plus, its expensive for no gain if your enemy shoots more than 1 missile, or said missile has counter measures to these theoretical laser countermeasures.. such as spinning or reflective coatings.
    this and many fighters can simply outmaneuver BVR missiles.

  26. Post #26
    ffFf
    Uber|nooB's Avatar
    June 2005
    5,846 Posts
    I have to doubt the effectiveness of these laser countermeasures, because it would probably take a lot of power to burn through a missile head. Plus, its expensive for no gain if your enemy shoots more than 1 missile, or said missile has counter measures to these theoretical laser countermeasures.. such as spinning or reflective coatings.
    yeah, if the other side can reasonably guess the specifications of the lasers used, it shouldn't be all that hard to work out what materials in what thicknesses need to be used to defend against them

  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    ASmellyOgre's Avatar
    June 2008
    4,495 Posts
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Winner Winner x 8Useful Useful x 1 (list)

  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    mugofdoom's Avatar
    September 2005
    5,149 Posts
    One hell of a concept image they have there.

    They must've worked in shifts to finish that on time.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Funny Funny x 3 (list)

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    TheTalon's Avatar
    June 2008
    19,603 Posts
    It could mean that aerial dogfights will have to go back to the old days of how they did it in WW2 in the future. Maybe that's why all those Sci Fi films like Star Wars and shit never use missiles
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Disagree Disagree x 2 (list)

  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    joost1120's Avatar
    February 2008
    10,265 Posts
    I love that guy. He also made a spinning sawblade launcher, wrist mounted lasers, hand mounted lasers, hand mounted flamethrowers, an Iron Man glove, a wristcrossbow and everything else you want in life.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Netherlands Show Events Funny Funny x 2 (list)

  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    FunnyBunny's Avatar
    December 2006
    4,742 Posts
    If this laser technology is effective enough at shooting down missiles, does that mean piulots will have to go in close and dogfight in the future?
    Or just.... You know like... Shooting the laser at the enemy pilot...

  32. Post #32
    Gold Member
    Alan Ninja!'s Avatar
    February 2009
    1,856 Posts
    Let's give 'em an air show.


    Come at me bro
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United States Show Events Funny Funny x 7Disagree Disagree x 2 (list)

  33. Post #33
    Dennab
    December 2011
    5,623 Posts
    If it can only aim the laser forwards, could they not just coat the missile's with reflective material?
    Nope because you will never have a perfect mirror so it will still absorb energy from the laser, if even 1% of the energy gets through, and it will, the missile will blow up mid air.

    Edited:

    It could mean that aerial dogfights will have to go back to the old days of how they did it in WW2 in the future. Maybe that's why all those Sci Fi films like Star Wars and shit never use missiles
    Or they'll use their on board radar to lock onto the enemy fighter, then cut through the canopy like butter using the laser.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Europe Show Events Disagree Disagree x 1 (list)

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    S31-Syntax's Avatar
    October 2007
    9,812 Posts
    Nope because you will never have a perfect mirror so it will still absorb energy from the laser, if even 1% of the energy gets through, and it will, the missile will blow up mid air.

    Edited:



    Or they'll use their on board radar to lock onto the enemy fighter, then cut through the canopy like butter using the laser.
    They use missiles a lot in Star Wars.

    Hell there's even a star destroyer model that uses almost exclusively missiles.

  35. Post #35
    No such thing as overkill.
    catbarf's Avatar
    January 2007
    7,812 Posts
    About the only relation here is that both fly and have guns. Well, except that one is real, and the other is completely made up. Space ships from Stargate using bullshit sci-fi ray guns have nothing whatsoever to do with a real-life project involving lasers on jet aircraft.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Dumb Dumb x 1 (list)

  36. Post #36
    Thread of the Year 2013 Runner Up

    January 2013
    1,455 Posts
    (User was banned for this post ("Quoted entire article" - Orkel))
    He was banned for our sins.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows XP Netherlands Show Events Agree Agree x 5 (list)

  37. Post #37
    No such thing as overkill.
    catbarf's Avatar
    January 2007
    7,812 Posts
    They use missiles a lot in Star Wars.

    Hell there's even a star destroyer model that uses almost exclusively missiles.
    You know Star Wars has about the same level of realism as a Tom and Jerry cartoon, and has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion?
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  38. Post #38
    I fought the bet and the bet won.
    laserguided's Avatar
    October 2012
    8,810 Posts
    Nope because you will never have a perfect mirror so it will still absorb energy from the laser, if even 1% of the energy gets through, and it will, the missile will blow up mid air.

    Edited:



    Or they'll use their on board radar to lock onto the enemy fighter, then cut through the canopy like butter using the laser.
    Where did you find this out? You realize the newer A2A missiles typically impact with force rather than explosives? It would have to some how blow up its fuel which is way at the back of the missile and shielded very well. Thats implying the laser could get through the reflective material, AND the nose cone.

  39. Post #39
    Dennab
    December 2011
    5,623 Posts
    They use missiles a lot in Star Wars.

    Hell there's even a star destroyer model that uses almost exclusively missiles.
    That's cool but I wasn't really addressing the star wars part, I was addressing the whole WW2 style dog fights thing.

    Edited:

    Where did you find this out? You realize the newer A2A missiles typically impact with force rather than explosives? It would have to some how blow up its fuel which is way at the back of the missile and shielded very well. Thats implying the laser could get through the reflective material, AND the nose cone.
    Fuel tanks, and you seem to be under estimating the strength of these lasers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZPKJ9TEzDA

    They will be refined and strengthened and they will go for the weak spot, because the beauty of a laser hitting the fuel tank is that you don't need to rupture it, you just need to hit it and heat transfer will deal with the rest.

  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    cecilbdemodded's Avatar
    January 2005
    6,394 Posts
    If I was the enemy I'd simply chrome everything on my ships and planes, then polish the hell out of them. Not only would I be able to reflect the laser beams back at the enemy, I'd have pimped out military vehicles too!
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Show Events Funny Funny x 3 (list)