US tests laser weapons?

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Denis
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US tests laser weapons?

Postby Denis » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:45 pm

N. Korean missile fails seconds after launch. I wonder if the US just live-tested a laser weapon?

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/21/asia/ ... sile-test/

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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby randy » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:44 pm

Denis wrote:. I wonder if the US just live-tested a laser weapon?


Possible, but I don't think so. I am unable (or at least unwilling) to get into why I make that assessment.
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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby Denis » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:48 pm

There you go again, neither confirming nor denying :-)

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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby Denis » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:37 am

[tinfoil hat] It occurs to me that the USAF X37-B space plane is aloft at the moment, secretly doing secretive things...[/tinfoil hat]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37#OTV-4

http://www.space.com/9940-secretive-spa ... t-37b.html

http://heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=40651

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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby BDK » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:40 pm

Physics pretty well says no.

A "rod from god" is far more practical, though it would be more destructive, I think, unless quite small.

I know that a nuke can destroy a chemical/biological weapons depot, as the thermal front passes the pressure front - is that inherent to being a nuke, or would a large enough rod be able to do the same thing?

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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby Vonz90 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:22 pm

Denis wrote:N. Korean missile fails seconds after launch. I wonder if the US just live-tested a laser weapon?

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/21/asia/ ... sile-test/


Atmospheric beam weapons are mostly all short range (that I know of anyway). The diffusion in the atmosphere makes them loose power rapidly. There has been some work on x-ray lasers to get around this, but I do not think they have come up with anything practical.

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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby Denis » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:24 pm

BDK wrote:A "rod from god" is far more practical


I was indeed also wondering whether the X37-B might not be an experimental Thor platform. The problem would be getting the time on target right, as opposed to a laser/lightspeed weapon. OTOH, I suppose the locations of the NorK's launch testing sites are well known to the USAF.

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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby First Shirt » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:33 am

Denis wrote: OTOH, I suppose the locations of the NorK's launch testing sites are well known to the USAF.

Why, Denis! What on earth would make you think something like that?
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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby evan price » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:14 am

Or maybe the Norks don't have better Germans.
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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby HTRN » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:24 pm

BDK wrote:Physics pretty well says no.

A "rod from god" is far more practical, though it would be more destructive, I think, unless quite small.

I know that a nuke can destroy a chemical/biological weapons depot, as the thermal front passes the pressure front - is that inherent to being a nuke, or would a large enough rod be able to do the same thing?

You forgot the Casaba howitzer option, although theyre not nearly as impressive in orbit to surface applications.
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Re: US tests laser weapons?

Postby HTRN » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:26 pm

evan price wrote:Or maybe the Norks don't have better Germans.

Well, he doea seem to have the vice of executing anybody who dispeases him, and developing icbms isnt exactly something you can expect to get right every step of the way.
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