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U.S. Navy Allowed to Use Persian Gulf Laser for Defense

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Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS). US Navy Photo

Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS). US Navy Photo

PENTAGON — The U.S. Navy has declared an experimental laser weapon on its Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) in the Persian Gulf an operational asset and U.S. Central Command has given permission for the commander of the ship to defend itself with the weapon, the head of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) told reporters on Wednesday.

The 30 kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was installed aboard USS Ponce this summer as part of a $40 million research and development effort from ONR and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to test the viability of directed energy weapons in an operational environment, said ONR Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder.

“The captain of that ship has all of the authorities necessary if there was a threat inbound to that ship to protect our sailors and Marines [and] we would defend that ship with that laser system,” Klunder said.
“It would be [used] against those [unmanned aerial vehicles], slow moving helicopters, fast patrol craft.”

As part of the development program, the Navy developed rules of engagement (ROE) for the use of the laser weapon in a year of negotiations with Pentagon leadership, Klunder said.

“At the end of the day it came right out from the [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and the [Secretary of Defense] notebook and we were approved and CENTCOM has the responsibility and given the authority to the skipper of that ship,” he said.

ONR showed off a video in which the LaWS system — mounted on the ship’s super structure above the bridge — disabled a small Scan Eagle-sized UAV, detonated a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and burned out the engine of a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB).

Klunder did not give details on the ROE or the ranges of LaWS but did say that humans were not a target of the weapon, under stipulations of the Geneva Conventions which he did not detail.

He did say that the Navy has tested LaWS against a simulated small boat so-called swarm attack and that the system was effective.

LaWS is composed in part of commercial laser components and proprietary Navy software that allow the weapon to achieve up to 35 percent level of efficiency relative to the power pumped through the system — a higher than average rate compared to other lasers.

USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) transits the Arabian Gulf on Sept. 25, 2014. US Navy Photo

USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) transits the Arabian Gulf on Sept. 25, 2014. US Navy Photo

The system is powered and cooled by a so-called “skid” that provides power through a diesel generator and is separate from Ponce’s electrical systems.

LaWS is tied to the ship’s navigation radar and the close-in weapon system (CIWS) and is also able to be targeted independently by sailors on the ship through a station in Ponce’s combat information center (CIC).

In addition to the offensive power, LaWS has proved useful as a surveillance tool due to its powerful optics that can detect objects at “tactically significant ranges” like a shipboard “Hubble Telescope,” Klunder said.

The Navy plans to keep LaWS onboard Ponce for a year and is examining deployments on other ships.

ONR’s next step for laser weapons will be a 100 to 150 kilowatt version it plans to test in 2016 or 2017.

  • Botvinnik

    Coming soon to an NSA agency near you!

  • Itsjusme

    I’m sure democrats will release enough details of the weapon to make it ineffective.

    • Rotorwash

      Likely.

      Yet the way things are going, John Bohener may release those details first.

      • gildersleeve

        Isn’t Boehner and McConnell a breath of fresh air? Kinda like swimming with a 100 pound anvil in a sprint. Neither of these guys are worth a spit on the sidewalk.

      • Paul

        White Privilege: Forced race/culture replacement in All & Only white populations.

        No White Countries. Cities. People. No White Anything Anywhere.

        Anti-whites call it “Diversity”; it’s called Genocide.

        White Privilege is White Genocide.

  • adam

    Using these “Lasers” we poke a hole in the protective layer we call the ozone layer unless the world pays us a hefty ransom…….

    • DaveLCAC

      One Millllion Dollars!

      • robbydobby

        That is too funny

      • n_slash_a_2

        What, is that not a lot of money? Sorry, I mean One Hundred Billion Dollars!

        • DrBobNM

          and dr evil got laughed at again (spy who shagged me) when he remembered this and went back to 1965 and at that time there was not 100 billion dollars on the entire planet. Guy couldn’t win, lol.

        • mlpnko123

          That seemed like a lot when that movie came out. The US government now spends that much every 11 days.

      • jenkem5

        What about sharks with laser beams attached to their heads?

        • mlpnko123

          The Navy is working on ill-tempered sea bass.

  • D-Dash

    Diane Frankenstein just got wind of this and is outraged that we would even think about having any type of advantage over our enemies!

    • Imahippyburning

      I wish someone would use a lazer on that hag! Oh, wait looks like someone already has!

  • http://www.medusae.net Wazmo Nares

    Start sinking Ear-Onion’s gun boats.

  • Captain Reynault

    “Man Battle Stations. Set Lasers to ‘Kick-Ass’!” … has a better ring with “phasers” but you have to work with what’s presently available. GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

    • mike

      You wish sir.

  • HarryObrian

    Lasers are useless in any inclement weather whatsoever.

    • BillD

      How often does it rain in that area? :-)

    • admin

      Not these lasers… You’d be surprised…

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Not true. Depends on the particular laser. Of course that’s one thing that the test is designed to find out, isn’t it.

  • Jeff McMahan

    is has, really?

  • Carl Showalter

    OH MY! DISPROPORTIONATE FORCE. WE CAN’T HAVE THAT
    THE (D) DHIMMIS WILL NOW SHARE THE TECH WITH THE ARABS DOGS.

  • AKO

    The financialization of the American economy
    American De-Industrialization
    Continues Unabated

    The U.S. is becoming dependent on countries such as UK, Russia, France and Germany for critical weapons technology.

  • Imahippyburning

    How soon before our enemies are using this against our own Military due to the Scumbag Traitors on the Left selling out their Country yet again?

  • Freddy Merks

    Somewhere a GOV owned hard drive is on its way to China for a stay in the Lincoln bedroom.

    • robbydobby

      Did you read the whole article, mirrors are now banned around the world.

      • LysolMotorola

        I need to reflect on that.

  • BadWhisky

    Cool….. As long as they have diesel they are armed…

  • admin

    They’ve only been working on this laser weapon project at the Lawrence Livermore Labs since the early 1980’s… It’s about time they took this “new” toy out of the development box…

  • D-Dash

    Why on Earth was my post removed? Does Diane Feinstein moderate this site?

    • bikerdogred1

      She wants to give one to China,she can’t sell us out fast enough.

      • 1Psuche

        It will be channeled through her husband Richard Blum to ensure profitability!

      • outbrainer

        Too late, thy’ve surely already hacked into the system and stolen the design.

  • rlhailssrpe

    I guess this is where we are, but the numbers are not impressive. A 30 KW weapon with a 35% efficiency can not leap over a tall building in a single bound. Apparently it can blow up an RPG or cook an outboard motor. The USS Ponce, slated for decommising but refurbished to be a “lily pad” , a Afloat Forward Staging Base for mine sweeping helos, is the test bed for this weapon in a hot zone.

    Keep working but wear a life preserver guys.

    • robbydobby

      You do not get it, this is called development. I am sure you would still like to be using horses for transportation.

      • rlhailssrpe

        The big decision is whether this development will keep me alive in combat? Or will there be something better that works before the coming fight? I would guess there are facts, not published, which answer these questions.

        I worked at assessing advanced technologies, for the good guys, for over a decade.

        • mike

          It’s the Navy dude, boredom is the enemy to “combat”, the laser won’t be hopping on the shithook with the seals.

        • testaxc

          cool story bro

    • DrBobNM

      the real hot stuff (pulsed) probably could not achieve the rep rate spec.

      • rlhailssrpe

        Yep. My guess too. And it helps to shake out new systems with the folks who will need it to keep breathing.

    • jenkem5

      The new electromagnetic rail gun aka kenetic energy weapon is way cooler.

      • Paul of Alexandria

        Both will be used. You don’t hit a fast-maneuvering light boat or RPV with a rail-gun. (and then, you don’t take out enemy warships or do coastal bombardments with a laser, either).

      • Secundius

        @ jenkem5.

        Cooler, YES. But a wasted expenditure of resources, getting hit by a 6-1-inch (155mm) “rail-gun” projectile is like getting hit at “point-blank” range by an 11-inch (280mm) Naval Gun. A laser would be far cleaner…

    • historyguy48

      The next step will be their 130-150 watt lasers which are powerful enough to take out a satellite in near space. Larger ones are also being tested.

      • mlpnko123

        I assume you mean 150 kW.

        • historyguy48

          Yes I did.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Specific weapons are developed for specific purposes. The LaWS, in addition to being a developmental system, is intended for small, fast targets that are difficult for current systems to hit, especially if they use swarm tactics. You can slew a laser a lot faster than you can a machine gun or cannon. It’s also more accurate at extreme range.

      • rlhailssrpe

        There are two conflicting theories about classified information. If you tip your hand and expose your dominating technology, your enemy will not dare war against you. The other is to tease, hold back, and let him sweat the ambiguity.

        Of course weapons are developed for specific purposes.

        I pray our enemies read other blogs.

        • Paul of Alexandria

          Oh that’s all public information. What’s being kept secret is another matter entirely. Despite the movies, it’s hard to keep a deployed weapons system totally secret. Generally we keep the precise specs classified, but don’t bother with basic information.

  • Chris54

    Now as long as no one discovers mirrors we will be all set.

    • DrBobNM

      this will blast thru a mirror; shatter it.

      • mike

        Not combat mirrors. .. I’ve said too much.

        • DrBobNM

          any deformation of the optical surface will mess up the wavefront, and so any chance of getting a reflection back to the source. do some research ‘i’ve said too much’ LMAO

          • mike

            Bob look out your windows they may already be there, you definitely said too much.

          • DrBobNM

            LOL, thx mike

        • Paul of Alexandria

          Ain’t no such thing as a “combat mirror”, and mirrored surfaces aren’t too good for general camouflage and concealment anyways.

          • mike

            First of all Paul Thank you for the enlightenment, I mean my tours overseas as an infantryman didn’t teach me there were no such thing as combat mirrors, so I’m glad you could point that out for me.
            Second of all i was being sarcastic.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            Sorry. I work in the field, and too many people assume that things exist which are simply silly.

  • rdfInOP

    I like the idea but obviously, this is just one more step in a long development process. They fried an outboard engine while not killing the (imaginary) crew or sinking the boat. That seems like a real strategic leap to me. You might be able to stop the bad guys and capture them for intel rather than just blowing them up.

  • disqus_89uuCprLIv

    I hope it never has to be used. Because if it is then the White House will reveal every significant feature of it and Congress will leak all the tactics to the media.

    China/Russia/DPRK hackers will inundate the developing/producing/testing organizations and some Chinese born employee will try to steal the specs.

    • LysolMotorola

      And the POS-in-Chief will then take credit for inventing it.

    • Mr Flippy

      And a laptop will go “missing” from a National Lab.

    • http://www.google.com/ P!NG

      China/Russia/DPRK probably already have the plans for this. It was our EOE/affirmative action which forced the govt to hire China/Russia/DPRK nationals for defense projects. They hauled the plans out on USB thumb drive ;)

  • DrBobNM

    not much R&D being done here, essentially retrofitted COTS (commercial off the shelf) “…with the system basically being six welding lasers that, although don’t become a single beam, all converge on the target at the same time….”

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Lots of R&D. The lasers themselves may be COTS (no sense in reinventing the wheel) but the gimble, optics, sensor systems, and control systems are definitely not.

      • DrBobNM

        not exactly rocket science. This kind of mechanics have been deployed on other non-laser systems. Again, a yawner.

        • Paul of Alexandria

          You’ve never tried to integrate a complex system like this then, have you. Again, this is absolutely standard engineering test procedure. Been there, done that.

          • DrBobNM

            didn’t say that this on ship test was not necessary, but to folks who do real R&D, this ain’t it.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            Depends on what you’re researching and at what level. You obviously work in 6.1 and have little experience when you get to 6.3 R&D. This is 6.3 and 6.4 level work – put the thing into the field and try it in actual conditions. I assure you, it’s absolutely standard procedure for this level of testing.

  • DrBobNM

    how does it work in the fog?

    • JoeDisqus56

      doesn’t, but it looks super cool.

    • I-Independant

      Fog doesn’t slow down RADAR for aiming this sucker.

      • DrBobNM

        please do not embarrass yourself. Its not the aiming, its the scattering of the laser light by water vapor. I knew the answer when I formulated the question. The laser does NOT work in fog.

        • I-Independant

          Let’s test it with the 150kw version

          • DrBobNM

            scattering is independent of power, unless something non-linear is going on.

          • I-Independant

            Thx for the info — I will do some checking. Any ref’s?

        • shazam

          There’s the possibility that some fraction of that 30kW goes into dispersing the fog, which would not take much energy.

          • DrBobNM

            could be, have not worked in that area, so not sure how much it would take. besides, any scattering at all (even if it blows away the water vapor) will reduce the intensity of the beam, and increase its divergence. both bad things for power onto target.

        • Paul of Alexandria

          Except that it’s an IR laser, which has less problems with water. It may also simply burn through it.

          • DrBobNM

            guess you’ve never heard of the opacity of IR in water vapor due to rotational and vibrational modes. Due to those two processes, IR radiation is strongly attenuated. Better stick to the nuts and bolts engineering system test/integration. You know nothing of the physics.

          • Secundius

            @ DrBobNM.

            It also depends on the spectrum of light used, from a distance both “red” and “yellow” lights are impossible to see through a fog. But, “green” light coming in load and clear. I guess their going to have to “tinker” with that one.

          • DrBobNM

            there are windows of transmission in the ir spectrum. Since a laser is monochromatic, they probably picked one of the windows of transmission. That would be a no-brainer, as long as the efficiency of generation was adequate at those wavelengths.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Probably with some degradation, but then fog isn’t a usual state of affairs. That is, of course, one of the purposes of the test – to see how well this laser operates in actual sea conditions.

      • DrBobNM

        fog on the ocean is not common??? goodness.

  • Secundius

    November 12, 2012, a quote from former Chicago Cubs First Baseman Mark Grace—“If your not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough”.

    And to paraphrase another quote of his.—“Cheating was actually a good thing because it shows, the US. Navy is actually trying a little bit harder than everybody else”.

    If you going to try out a Laser Defense/Offensive system, the best place to station is is directly in the middle of the Persian Gulf. The most “hotly contested” water system in the world. If Iran want to contest it, fine, but how much are they willing to lose in the attempt.

  • FAKIA

    Set the dial to extra crispy and get cookin?

  • Texas Logic

    The Geneva Convention. Logic is as follows.
    Its ok to shoot someone with hot lead 1-infinite number of times, how badly or how long they suffer is unimportant. You can bomb,grenade,rocket and blast people with missiles, leaving them anywhere in between paste on a buddys uniform to a concussion survivor. Yet its horrible to fry a dude in 2 seconds with a ship based laser system, playing loud music and feeding ensure to unmarked combatants is torture, and using chemical weapons means you have to give them back to those that made them.

    • fouredged

      It’s probably the ban on incendiary weapons being used on humans. The ban is in place to prevent people from using flamethrowers as a weapon of war. The military is taking a legal sidestep to prevent the possibility of it being raised as an issue.

      • derpdogss

        But flamethrowers are so COOL. Burned the hides off those Japanese buggers!

    • lopan

      I don’t know the Geneva logic with respect to lasers, but with respect to terrorism suspects it’s obvious: They’re in custody and totally under the control of their captors, not fighting on the battlefield. It’s dishonorable and cowardly to harm captives. That’s a universal human moral.

      Torture is not only an inhuman horror universally rejected by all nations in every official law, but a war crime for which the United States executed Third Reich and Japanese military commanders after WW2. You place yourself on the wrong side of the Nuremberg Tribunal defending it.

      • historyguy48

        However, torture is used by every country when it is necessary. Including those who decry it the most.
        Why? Because when it is properly applied it works almost every time. That is just the way things are now and have always been.
        Slavery was outlawed also but there are still slaves.

        • lopan

          You’re just making things up in order to rationalize crimes against humanity.

          It’s never “necessary,” and always treason.

          • Tony

            Traitors like you always….always….cannot wait to turn on your own country, and shed a sympathetic light on barbarians. Your type liked the USSR, loved (still love) Castro, thought Ho Chi Minh was a hero, adored Mao, supported the Sandinistas. Today, you pretend the Islamic savages are … well…somewhat justified and, oh I don’t know, not really that bad. If only we could empathize with their struggle, right? They decapitate living, breathing humans, but we deprived a few dozen of sleep and … wow, guess what….WE committed a crime against humanity. You’re a traitor at best, a barbarian at worst.

          • lopan

            What crimes won’t you try and rationalize with these psychotic fantasies of yours?

            You are not a civilized person. You are not a person who deserves America.

          • Brian

            It’s not a fantasy. The majority of Islam does not speak out against what was done and is being done as their radicals wage jihad against all things that are not Islamic. In case you missed it America got attacked, we are at war whether you accept that fact or not.

            Torture is not condoned; enhanced interrogation is however legal. You can frown on it all you like.

            Don’t talk about who “deserves America” and who does not until you have picked up a weapon and are prepared to stand watch to defend her from all enemies, foreign and Domestic. You are not qualified.

          • Davidicus

            You are putting words in his mouth. Not once did he say any of those things. All the lopan said is torture is wrong. There are people who have been cleared of wrong doing still in Gitmo that were tortured. To torture them for something other people perpetrated is no different than cutting off heads for the crimes of the American government. We are supposed to be better than our enemy, not using their deeds to justify our own.

          • historyguy48

            If you want to talk about treason then we can talk about most of our congress and our current Dear Leader.
            Torture on the other hand is an entirely different matter. Through most of human history torture was required prior to a confession of guilt being allowed. Today, those you “liberals” keep making excuses for, the Muslims, use torture routinely.
            Learn some real history and the way this world actually works before commenting upon a topic you obviously know nothing about.

          • lopan

            You are not an American.

            You are some medieval, Byzantine parasite that infests us.

            America has laws against torture, and sane, decent people know it’s never justified.

          • betterthanu

            You are a pansy. If someone came in to rape your mother kid, ate you going to hand him a condom and say please use this?

          • lopan

            And if some terrorist fascist tortured a member of your family, no doubt you’d say “Thank you sir, May I have another?”

            Americans support the Constitution. If you don’t, you are on the wrong side of history, and the wrong side of humankind.

          • wrickerd

            The term torture is so overly used, making a captured combative afraid using non physical means is and has been successful at getting real time information as well as learning tactics and future plans, this is real time lives, our mission is to protect “our” country and using any non physical means for up to 24 hours is and can be critical to saving American lives both in the battlefield and domestically, I have not read any information on any prisoner being physically hurt, yes many so called techniques seem contrary to what our country would desire from our military codes of conduct, yet reality is far different, every service person knows this, the real threat has been the leaking and giving of these techniques to the enemy, that is at the best ignorant and the worst treason, many lives have been saved both on the battlefield and in many countries, yes we need strict control and this appears to of not been done in the 36 cases for individuals in the report, it is dirty work that in one way or the other must be done if the
            priority is to save American and others lives.

          • historyguy48

            Correct. For some reason the “liberals” try to use the mental image of a medieval torture chamber as depicted in film as the “standard” for such interrogation. There are far better ways to obtain the information than that as we both know.
            Undoubtedly the progressives have an ulterior motive for what they are doing besides the obvious one of trying to further tear down America so they can implement their new Stalinist Amerika.
            Once they accomplish that would you want to make a bet as to how quickly they would set up torture cells? I wouldn’t.

          • betterthanu

            Yo tard! Do you know the definition of treason? True example of an ignorant liberal at his best.

          • lopan

            I know the definition of treason.

            And I know America.

            You know neither.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            No, he’s right. How would you interrogate a terrorist? Especially after 9/11, when the next attack could be imminent?
            False morality hurts everyone and achieves nothing.

          • Brian

            The most effective way is by use of a combination of sleep deprivation combined with a drug regimen. Specifically a truth serum. A trained interrogator knows what to look for as far as signs of post hypnotic suggestion as there are tells.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            There is no such thing as a “truth serum”. There are certain drugs that make people more prone to babble, but they don’t and can’t guarantee truth. I rather think that the military interrogators know what they’re doing.

          • Brian

            You might want to check out Scopolomine as that has long been proven effective and no, it does not cause them to babble.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            The CIA and the military interrogators aren’t sadists. If it would have worked, they would have used it. Don’t forget that, in large part thanks to liberal idiots, Al Qaeda and other Islamic radicals are trained to resist our interrogation tactics!

          • lopan

            I would interrogate a suspected terrorist the same way all professional interrogators do – with intelligent questions, observations, and manipulation of interests.

            No doubt you would rather that one criminal interrogate another, because you are one too.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            Ah, Progressive slander. And I’m supposed to treat you like you’re a professional? Last time I checked, the military interrogators are professionals. Do you really think that they’re evil minions torturing poor Arabs just for kicks? I rather think that they use harsh interrogation techniques because the regular techniques don’t work! (As in: you idiot Progressives told the enemy all about our interrogation practices, so they trained their operatives to resist all of the regular methods).

        • Brian

          Bull. Torture has been shown to be notoriously un-reliable for actual use able intelligence even when “properly” applied.

          The reason for that is simple. Each prisoner has a pain threshold and once reached they will tell a captor whatever they think the captor wants to hear in order to stop the pain. Hynosis and a variety of drugs have been found to be highly successful in combating the use of torture and supplying false information.

          • historyguy48

            Obviously you have never participated in an interrogation. When properly interrogating a prisoner the use of pain might cause said person to give false information. However the interrogator uses questions where the correct answers are already known as a check. Of course the prisoner shouldn’t know that the interrogator already knows the answer.
            The technique is very close to being the same one that is in use by police forces everywhere. The only real difference is that the prisoner doesn’t have the option of “lawyering up”.
            If torture didn’t work why does our military train its high risk members about torture? Perhaps you should go and get captured by al-Quida so you could learn all about how ineffective torture really is. Of course that would be prior to their slowly cutting your head off with a dull knife because you are an infidel.

          • Brian

            I don’t know where you are from historyguy but NO police force, at least not in the western world uses pain as an interrogation technique. And as to participated, yes I have and that is why I can say and the evidence backs it up that torture is not in any way reliable contrary to claims made.

            It’s high risk members are trained about torture in order to resist it as every person has a breaking point. No one can resist forever, not even trained operators. That is why they are taught to hold out and give information that is close to the truth.

            I did not say it was not effective, I said it was un-reliable as far as gathering information. There is a difference.

          • historyguy48

            And I never said that American police forces use pain as an interrogation technique. The method for interrogating a prisoner remains basically the same and is very effective when properly done.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            It’s not torture. Torture is done to put the fear of the authorities/warlord/druglord/etc
            into the family, friends, and fellow country-men of the victim, not to
            extract information. Interrogation techniques use the minimum force
            required to extract information (which is always double-checked) and
            stops when the information is obtained.

          • Digger John

            Go back and look at the photo of the man who jumped from the WTC to avoid being burned alive… now, with that in mind, tell me with a straight face you think waterboarding is torture! If you are that stupid get out of the way and I will show what torture is… these monsters are beheading children… anything that might in the slightest way prevent them from doing that is FINE!

        • James Bowen

          It did not work on Vice Admiral James Stockdale.

      • Tony

        Save the pious navel-gazing. These guys crushed hundreds of Americans to death. These guys burned hundreds of Americans alive. These guys forced dozens of Americans to jump out a window….1,000 feet high. All in one day. It really happended. The terrorists really did it. Stop living in a dream world, a hypothetical wonderland where everyone plays by the Marquess of Queensberry rules.

        • lopan

          No they didn’t. “These guys” (the torture victims) were overwhelmingly innocent people who were picked up in random places because some paid informant or other torture victim gave a name similar to theirs, and Bush was such a psychopath that he didn’t care to make sure he had the right people.

          The people who did this are traitors.

          You are a traitor-supporter.

          • Brian

            No they were not. MOST of these people were picked up AS enemy combatants in raids. Some were picked up due to on the ground intelligence but most were not.

          • lopan

            You’re just lying. I don’t know what to do with that. If you don’t care what’s true, then you don’t care about anything.

          • Brian

            lopan you know nothing. I doubt you so much as served and the only place you get your information is places like Infowars and al jazera network. I care about the truth which you obviously lack.

          • lopan

            I care about the truth more than anything else.

            And the truth is that these people are traitors.

            The only reason they were torturing foreigners and not American political dissidents is that Bush told them to torture the former and not the latter. That’s it. That’s the line between what they did and the Third Reich.

          • testaxc

            The American Constitution doesn’t protect foreign combatants. You sound really stupid when you think that American law doesn’t matter when Americans are involved on a large scale. You can pick exceptions but it doesn’t apply to this argument.

          • Brian

            If you care about truth as much as you claim, try looking up the word traitor first, before using it to describe someone. A traitor is someone that aids the enemy.

      • DoctorJNB

        No, not per se. Torture is legally prohibited by the various Geneva Conventions, but the US is not a signatory to all parts of all conventions. And even the conventions themselves state clearly that they apply to regular armed forces of civilized nation signatories, it does not apply to non-governmental organizations such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS (or the Taliban or Hezbollah or the PLF, for instance).

      • Paul of Alexandria

        First of all, the terrorists are specifically excluded by the Geneva conventions (try reading them some time): They weren’t serving under a national command structure, they weren’t wearing uniforms, and they violated the laws of war themselves.

        Secondly, it wasn’t torture. Torture is done to put the fear of the authorities/warlord/druglord/etc into the family, friends, and fellow country-men of the victim, not to extract information. Interrogation techniques use the minimum force required to extract information (which is always double-checked) and stops when the information is obtained.

        • lopan

          Except that’s not the case – you’re talking about people suspected of violating the laws of war. A thing is not true just because Herr Bush said it was true.

          Just because your Glorious Leader claimed something doesn’t mean he could exempt himself from the laws of mankind.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            Ah, a Progressive idiot. Can’t resist personal slander.
            I rather trust the military people that captured them. Believe it or not, they’re not evil minions. They’re professionals. (And the president doesn’t make those kind of decisions anyways.)

      • JustAl

        All the more reason to kill them right after initial interrogation.

        • lopan

          You’re advocating murder?

          • glenp827

            you surely are.
            What do I feel when I kill a terrorist? — a little recoil

          • lopan

            Huh?

          • Patrick

            lol

      • Ctrot

        I am not in favor of using torture, of any kind, as a matter of routine policy. But that is not what happened, despite how certain democrats, for their own political gain, would like to portray what the CIA did.

        First of all, is water-boarding torture? In the strictest definition of the word yes it is. It’s also a technique that is used to train the US military and it is something that some reporters have volunteered to be subjected to in order to understand it. Given those facts it is clear that water-boarding is at most a very mild form of “torture”, no one volunteers for real torture.

        Secondly, was water-boarding used routinely? No, it wasn’t. There are only 3 cases we know of where water-boarding was used. In each case the subject was a very high ranking AQ member with intimate knowledge of ongoing AQ activities. And in each case water-boarding these people resulted in intelligence gained that prevented further attacks, led to the capture of more terrorists and saved innocent lives. Win, win, win.

        The real shame of all of this is that we’re even discussing it in public. We should never have known about this. If there were abuses those responsible should have been quietly punished. We should never wash such sensitive national security / intelligence laundry in public. Instead democrats used this as a political tool, with absolutely no regard for national security.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Just as a note, the Geneva conventions are a “gentleman’s agreement” between advanced nations: you treat our guys well, we’ll treat yours well. The Islamic jihadis aren’t covered by it anyways.

  • Rotorwash

    Another great weapon the politicians will implement ROE’s against so they cannot be used in combat.

  • bikerdogred1

    Hillary Clinton, wants to give of these lasers to our enemy so we can be even on the battlefield and she wants a law that we can’t use ours.

  • thehotfinger

    A great first step with a long road to go. Ballistic point defenses are expected to become largely obsolete against the new generation of hypersonic anti-ship weapons that are right around the corner.

    • Secundius

      @ thehotfinger.

      Maybe so, but even a hypersonic anti-shipping missile can’t evade a laser beam. By the time a laser is fired, a hypersonic missile wouldn’t have traveled an additional “millimeter” in distance.

  • John Hanley

    Yeah, but does it make a cool “pew pew pew” sound…?!

  • El General

    Hands Up, Don’t Phase!

  • Reardon Steele

    Fabulous. I dig America’s awesome death machines. Here’s looking at you the enemies of America.

  • gildersleeve

    I believe that no politician should serve more than two terms. 1. First term in office and 2. Second term in jail for what they did in the first term. I can vote for that. I will bet that Boehner has already given the Chinese the plans for this system.

  • Ten__Bears

    Wow. It knocked a radar arch off a rubber raft…..impressive!

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Actually, it is rather impressive – considering that it is precisely what the operator was aiming at, from several klicks away.

  • Crewjobs

    What is inside the boat, and what is inside the plane? People. How they can say the laser weapon targets vessels but not the people inside, is ridiculous. I suppose they have so say so anyway.

  • TGrade1

    Now all we need is a mirror in space that we can bounce the beam off and, depending on how we angle it, take out whoever we want in the blink of an eye.

  • TruthDetector

    The Navy will use it to drive really big catfish crazy chasing their giant laser pointer.

  • Village Idiot

    A laser cannot go over a building but it travels at the speed of light (which is far faster than any missile you can make) and can hit multiple targets in fractions of a second. Even if the rep rate was 20 Hz (a standard rep rate for high power laser), that’s 20 targets per second.

    In addition to that, you cannot run out of ammunition with a laser. As long as the ship has fuel you have fire power. This is highly advantageous as you are reducing the cost and liability associated with transferring, loading, and housing high explosive ammunition.

    35% is actually very high for a laser, and probably higher than the diesel engine powering the ship. The car you drive is running at a maximum of 14% if your lucky so lets keep things in perspective.

    • mlpnko123

      “Even if the rep rate was 20 Hz (a standard rep rate for high power laser), that’s 20 targets per second.”

      You are assuming the targets are all collocated (no time required to aim) and that a single pulse will destroy the target. This system will be faster that 5-inch gun, but not as awesome as you suggest.

  • Bruce

    Not sure if we are getting the whole story here or not, as it is not normal for the military to “test” things in real settings. Usually by the time it hits the field it is well off the drawing board.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      To the contrary, this is routine procedure, especially with advanced weapons systems. You can only get so far in a laboratory setting. Eventually you have to actually put it on a ship and expose it to salt spray for a year or so.

      • Bruce

        Paul, it is not routine to put untested weapons into the field for use. It is common to put untested weapons into the field for TESTING purposes, but that is not the same thing as tossing them into war-time, active duty scenarios for the intent of proving it’s worth. They did not throw the F15 on some ships and ask if it flew. They did not toss the M1A1 into a war and wait to see if it worked. In other-words, the sort of mystery of the effectiveness of this device seems likely to be a bit inaccurate and intentionally misleading in order to not let people know that they are 100% aware of exactly what this device can do, and what are its limitations.

        • Paul of Alexandria

          And that’s what they are doing here. They’re not fielding this system generally, they’re field-testing it on a single ship. This is the next step before developing a full-up system for general use.

  • sammy

    Another hundred thousand watts and it will match my wife’s glare.

  • jenkem5

    What about sharks with freaking laser beams attached to their heads? We don’t even have that yet.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      As far as you know.

  • Jasonn

    As a demonstration, could you please just have that sucker sink the entire Iranian fleet?

    • mlpnko123

      You are significantly underestimating the capabilities of the Iranian military.

      • Jasonn

        No Muhammad, you are significantly underestimating the capabilities of the US Navy.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Actually, that’s more or less precisely who it’s targeted at. Given their technical lag, the Iranian navy has decided to use small-boat swarm tactics, which is what this laser’s being developed to combat.

  • Big D

    So we have money to for a laser weapon but we can’t send our kids to quality schools?

    • Ctrot

      We can’t have quality schools because of teachers unions and stupid liberal parents.

  • StongAmerica

    Back to Flash Gordon and the evil Ming of my boyhood. Amazing! How soon will it be before our tanks and then soldiers are burning our enemies up with ray guns (eh, pardon me, lasers)!

  • Alex

    Yay more stupid weapons we have to pay for to kill each other in illegal wars set up by banks and the .01% of the elites who want to stay in control by divide and conquer… Welcome to earth.

  • Mark

    Hey Texas Logic–Better that then speaking Chinese

  • D-Dash

    I see this site is run by fascist. No wonder nobody visits it.

    • 1Psuche

      I’m sure it will be made available to the Chinese through hubby… Those who $ellout their country have to make a profit!

  • James Bowen

    Very interesting. There isn’t much good news regarding the state of the fleet today. This is a rare exception.

  • mrbarry

    They just can’t wait to kill people with using this fkg star wars machine….Hey AH’s we don’t own the Persian Gulf, do this in Lake Michigan …preferably on Detroit

  • Itsjusme

    I’m sure democrats will release enough information details of the program to render it useless.

  • glenp827

    turn the pirate terrorists into STREAMERS I’d love to see that

  • creepy jesus

    Using a high altitude gunship for a laser platform to pick off entire insurgent armies is a heady prospect. Think of it.. Computer controlled target acquisition identifies groups of say, 20 or so insurgents at a time, then takes them out in serial fashion in a flashing staccato of popping skulls. Then moves to the next group. The psychological impact alone of seeing those flaming turbans going off all over the battlefield is worth it.

  • Digger John

    Geee wiz, how nice… the brass ashore will allow the men and women in harms way to defend themselves! Wow, how many thousands of pages of legal and political fact finding were required for them to reach that decision? And the first child-beheading terrorist who vaporizes in the beam will trigger a UN investigation and some officers’ careers will be vaporized as well… I fear for our nation now that Obama’s leftist agenda has been adopted by the high-level brass!

  • publius_maximus_III

    What effect does rain or fog have?

  • Secundius

    Why not mount them on the “Littoral’s”.

  • Freddy Merks

    Somewhere a hard drive is headed to China in exchange for a stay in the Lincoln bedroom. Some one had that comment removed but it has happened in the past with stolen hard drives and Chinese spies. Clinton gave the Chinese Loral Systems, it is the only way they could orbit a spacecraft and hence a ballistic missile.