But can they strap it to a shark’s head?

by lestro

So the most interesting part of the laser truck story was that Boeing has apparently already fired theirs. I followed the link and son of a bitch it’s true. But beyond the killing power is an even more powerful weapon for governments the world over:

Boeing announced today the first ever test firing of a real-life ray gun that could become US special forces’ way to carry out covert strikes with “plausible deniability.”

In tests earlier this month at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Boeing’s Advanced Tactical Laser — a modified C-130H aircraft — “fired its high-energy chemical laser through its beam control system. The beam control system acquired a ground target and guided the laser beam to the target, as directed by ATL’s battle management system.”

Cool. The future is now.

According to the developers, the accuracy of this weapon is little short of supernatural. They claim that the pinpoint precision can make it lethal or non-lethal at will. For example, they say it can either destroy a vehicle completely, or just damage the tires to immobilize it. The illustration shows a theoretical 26-second engagement in which the beam deftly destroys “32 tires, 11 Antennae, 3 Missile Launchers, 11 EO devices, 4 Mortars, 5 Machine Guns” — while avoiding harming a truckload of refugees and the soldiers guarding them.


But aside from the killing power – which though impressive doesn’t have all the neat smoke and fire that really gives the brass a hard-on – the laser might also give the higher-ups something even more important – “plausible deniability.”

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.”

You say your leader, an anti-American who won’t share his oil, was suddenly vaporized in a burst of light and ozone? Wow. Crazy…Us? No, of course not. Why would you think that?…

What Wired magazine article are you talking about?

I never thought it would come to this, but here’s the plan: we are going to need about two tons of popping corn, as much aluminum foil as you can get your hands on and a pair of bunny slippers.

And Kent, stop playing with yourself.


One Response to But can they strap it to a shark’s head?

  1. nikolai says:

    F*CK! Once this thing is deployed they will be able to fry their “enemies” at will with virtually NO reprecussions! We’re toast…

    FIguratively speaking that is…

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