11 thoughts on “Laser Weapons”

  1. The easiest kind of laser weapon (easiest because it goes after the softest target by orders of magnitude) is something we’ll likely never field for Geneva convention reasons: Laser blinding weapons. It takes hundreds of times less power and dwell time to nuke your retinas than it does to begin doing anything physical/thermal to a target. Cameras and focal plane arrays are also relatively soft.

    While we have these qualms, it’s unlikely that our enemies, foreign or domestic, will think twice about using them against us.

    1. Hard cockpit, view screens over the eyes like a VR setup. Essentially like an F-35 helmet, renders this tactic moot.

  2. Eye injury aside, the wounds induced by lasers if they don’t cut a human torso into pieces a-la a light saber would leave horrendous wounds. Burn wounds are difficult to treat, esp internal wounds. Modern day medicine will have a difficult time treating wounds on the battlefield. It will be a situation similar to getting a wound to the gut in the 18th and 19th centuries. If it can’t be re-sectioned in surgery there is little hope. I hope I don’t live long enough to see our grandchildren and great grandchildren die this way. I suspect you’ll see a resurgence in body armor of the ablative type.

    1. If you intend to go after meatsacks, microwave weapons strike me as a more practical option than lasers, given that we are pretty much bags of water. On the other hand, our robotic servants are filled with lovely parts to be burned and blasted, and hardening them adds weight and bulk that materially interferes with mission performance.

      1. Millimeter wave weapons have been tested. Those who have submitted to being test subjects describe it as being fricasseed alive. Nothing quite like having your uniform (and yourself) go up in flames spontaneously from no apparent cause. Okay, that’s an exaggeration (for now). What’s particularly interesting is the extra potential for harming people with tattoos….


        1. As I recall, Viktor Belenko (the Soviet pilot who defected in a MiG-25) said that the radar on board the MiG-25 was so powerful that turning it on while the aircraft was on the ground was strictly prohibited. Apparently this was one of those hard lessons learned, though fortunately not on humans; evidently, they observed that the radar would almost instantly kill rabbits far down the runway.

          It always made me wonder why a down-looking phased array radar powered by a genset driven by an F-1 engine pump turbine (57,000 HP [42.5 MW]) wouldn’t make a better strafing weapon than Puff the Magic Dragon’s GAU-2/M134 mini-guns.

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