to power these, I suggest 1st Armored can start calling themselves the Slammers.
At least that’s what the Economist reports. It says a “directed-energy weapon” named Zeus (presumably because of his fondness for hurling lightning bolts) has been deployed in the back of a Humvee in Iraq. It’s being tested by soldiers who are using its laser beam to detonate roadside bombs from a safe distance of 300 meters.
Now, this is something! A real, useful, vehicle-portable laser than can help take care of a problem. Several, really; IEDs, unexploded ordnance and so forth. Instead of having some EOD tech wire each shell or mine, clear it with this. And then we come to the second article:
The FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser is a line replaceable system that allows for scaling a laser weapon to desired power levels for specific warfighting applications and platforms. Northrop Grumman believes that FIRESTRIKE(tm) laser will form the backbone of future laser weapon systems.
You can put together up to eight of these to achieve the maximum power available, although that would so much electric power that the military would have to mount them in tanks. Which, mind you, I bet it's exactly what they have in mind.
Damn, I hope so.
And if you want a 'GFW on the military' viewpoint, look at the comments in the first article; "Oh, wonderful, now we can murder and maim children without all the messy bullet holes." Oh yeah, our troops just wander around looking for kids to kill, don't they? You effing morons. We've been acting for years to decrease the number of non-combatants getting hurt, troops have been wounded and died trying to save such, but you jackasses still whine about us 'killing children'. Screw you. The tool in the first article is being used to clear IEDs and mines, and will be used to clear unexploded bombs, artillery shells and such, which means innocents don't wander into them. The second, assuming it really works out, will give our troops a new edge on the bad guys, which has two good points:
First, it makes all but the ideological morons pause; do they really want to start a fight with us when our troops have their current training and equipment backed by new systems like this? and
Second, it allows us to both clear threats from a current or past battlefield, and- in many cases- strike with less effect on non-combatants.
Both of which are one of the reasons I think The Barack is going to be, at best, a mild-to-medium level disaster; I remember his promise to 'end development of new combat systems'. This stuff is giving our troops the edge they need, and he's promised to end the developments of such, and he's got a bunch of GFWs and anti-military Evil Party members of Congress who'd love to help. You know, the dirtbags who whined there weren't enough troops for Iraq and Afghanistan, but who'd die rather than increase military funding so the forces could be expanded? Yeah, them.