Comments:Airborne laser successfully destroys ballistic missile
|Thread title||Replies||Last modified|
|Is this a "defense" technology or an "offensive" one?||1||15:46, 28 February 2010|
|Finally, we're living in the distsnt future...||0||13:17, 15 February 2010|
I hereby quote from the news article:
The US has been working on the program since 1996, and has faced numerous problems in that time. The megawatt-class High Energy Laser is known as the chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL), and consists of six modules, each as large as an SUV. The sheer weight of chemicals needed was almost too much for the 747 jet. The laser also had problems with accuracy due to atmospheric conditions. February's tests were originally scheduled to be carried out in 2002. The amount spent getting the project to this stage has also risen from a planned US$1 billion to $7.3 billion. Last year, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates cut the program back to a single jet for research, suggesting it would not see actual deployment. “The reality is that you would need a laser something like 20 to 30 times more powerful than the chemical laser in the plane right now to be able to get any distance from the launch site to fire,” Gates told Congress. "So, right now the [jet] would have to orbit inside the borders of Iran in order to be able to try and use its laser to shoot down that missile in the boost phase." Gates also raised concerns at the large number of planes that would be required, and the ensuing cost. However, he said that directed energy weapons still had potential for missile defense.
- end quote...
now, my questions are about the bold text.
(1) how do we know that it is only US that is going on about such a program? (2) why is the taxpayers' money being used so blatantly and outrageously for a program which doesn't even get the results right? (3) and most importantly, why is Iran being singled out as a potential offense?
(4) if this technology can destroy a scud-like missile when it is not even considered usable, wouldn't this technology be capable of destroying whole townships when it becomes usable?