back to article 'First production-line energy weapon' now shipping

American weaponry colossus Northrop Grumman says it has delivered the first production-line solid state energy weapon to the US Air Force. However, the "Vesta II" raygun module doesn't have enough power to meet US military goals for combat applications. Actually it's some kind of diagnostic instrument, apparently At the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Shark attachment

    Does it come with an option for mounting on a sharks head?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I for one...

    welcome our new forehead-attached solid state frikkin lazorz shark overlords.

  3. Dominic Kua

    I read that as...

    Vista II, some kind of software deathray maybe?

  4. YumDogfood

    Beam spread

    Well boil my bunnies, there are ways for this to be (ab)used as true terror weapon.

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Shark attachment

    Don't be daft. No self-respecting shark would be seen dead with a piddling 15kw laser on its head.

    This tech is still at the cod / herring / flounder market level.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Sharks, sharks, sharks! Will someone PLEASE mention sharks? Shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarks!!!!

  7. Steven Hunter


    "a laser weapon that utilizes push-buttons for easy operation"

    Who the hell uses the term "push-button" anymore? Is it 1958 again and I missed the announcement?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this anything to do with.....

    Sharks ....?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Described by Northrop as ...

    "a laser weapon that utilizes push-buttons for easy operation" ... as opposed to the ratchet and crank-handle ones they developed to be deliberately hard to operate ... then again, that does sound ominously like kit they'd sell to the Navy ...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "testing device for lethality"

    Regarding lethality: So what can you use this on except for humans and animals?

    Plants? Germs? (Legal) Aliens? I'm not really in favor of this kind of testing (nor deploying)...

  11. Fluffykins Silver badge

    I'm still trying to work out

    How to set my laser printer to "Stun"

  12. Chris Priest
    Thumb Up


    How the hell is the shark supposed to press the button???

  13. vincent himpe

    damn !

    i would at least have expected touch screen and an iPod compatible docking connector...

  14. Paul


    Vesta II...presumably powered by late 1970s boil-in-the bag curry

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what's the problem?

    Get 10 of them, mount them on that exoskeleton thing that was mentioned a while back and point them all at the same point. Et voila, instant 150kW "Chest O'Death".

  16. Alistair

    Push the button (please)

    The need for push-button operation comes from the obvious fact that, during the time taken to operate the slider, dim the lights, cover ones eyes and all that, the X-Wing and/or Millenium Falcon (depending on V1 or V3) will have time to swoop in and destroy the offending weapon. Thereby saving the Ewoks from severe economic consequences. Or something like that. NURSE!

  17. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: testing device for lethality

    "Regarding lethality: So what can you use this on except for humans and animals?"

    Er, you can't use it on humans. If it hits them in the eyes they'll be blinded, and *that* is specifically outlawed by some treaty or other. (Coz obviously blinding someone with a laser is unethical, whereas using an armour piercing shell to turn the interior of their tank into a swarf bucket is fair game.) And if you use it on animals then you'll *really* upset people.

    So this weapon appears to be limited to inanimate targets. I, for one, welcome this development and look forward to a new age when the military aren't allowed to kill anyone anymore, just smash things up a bit.

  18. andy

    @Steven Hunter - Push button...

    not to be confused with shirt-button...

  19. Frank
    Thumb Up

    I think....'re all being very silly. Keep up the good work.

  20. Neil Daniels
    Thumb Up

    Good to see...

    ..the El Reg hive mind in full swing.

  21. Ash

    Set Vestas to...

    al dente?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    I would like to anounce

    My entry into the munitions business, any one want to buy a a half used roll of tin foil, sorry a "light weight anti lazer weaponry neutralizer"? a snip at $1999.99 per square foot.

  23. RaelianWingnut

    Cue Cheap Disco Effects Defence....

    I wonder how effective this would be around something which was swathed in fog?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    if you like that then get this ... Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius

    ISBN 0-07-142609-4

    Got mine from the US today .. its got some great DIY projects in it including ...

    Electrokinetic Gun

    High-Energy Pulser

    Plasma Thermal Gun

    Handheld Burning CO2 Gas Laser

    Thirty-Inch-Spark Tesla Lightning Generator

    Plasma Lightsaber (!)

    Ion Ray and Charge Gun

    EMP Generator

    Phase Pain Field Gun

    and my favourite ... Pain Field Property-Protection Guard ... which according the description produces "a moderately powered source of acoustical, ultrasonic energy ... causing certain adverse effects to the intruder. These may be paranoia, severe headaches, disorientation, nausea, cranial pain, an upset stomach, or just plain irritating discomfort." Cool 8-)

  25. Tim
    Black Helicopters

    Environmentally Friendly

    This will truly revolutionise the war on insects. The days of toxic fly sprays are surely numbered.

  26. Sureo
    Thumb Down

    How will this help them get Osama?

    How will this help them get Osama?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    My Flying Car...

    I can haz it plz?

    rayguns are obviously on the same cool-tech-development page.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    I think the "sharks with frikkin lazor beams" thing

    has now officially jumped the, erm, shark.

    Anyways, I want to see the kind of Powerpoint presentation you can do with one of these bad boys

  29. Dave Murray
    Thumb Up

    Re: if you like that then get this ... Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius

    Sounds like required reading for the BOFH. :)

  30. Chris G

    @ Fluffykins

    To set Laser printer on stun:- Raise above the head of intended victim, release suddenly. ( For multiple simultaneous targets, more arms ... and printers are required.)

    My kettle is 2·4 Kw and it boils in under 2 minutes, the Vesta ( Named after a box of matches) should be able to provide me with a cup of tea in less than 20 seconds, I'll buy one!

  31. Captain DaFt

    @ Fluffykins

    "I'm still trying to work out how to set my laser printer to "Stun""

    Ok, I'm probably going to Gitmo for revealing this, but all you have to do is:

    A> Unplug laser printer's power and usb cables.

    B> While carrying laser printer, approach your target from behind.*

    C> Lift laser printer high over YOUR head, then bring it down sharply onto TARGET'S head. Mission accomplished!

    Or alternatively, you can just use it to print out pictures of goatse and tubgirl, then leave them where your target will see them.

    * approaching from behind is highly reccomended as it keeps the target from running away or punching your lights out.

  32. Mike Lovell


    That's nothing. I made my own my following a youtube instructional video. Now my converted lazer pointer pen can set a pile of kidling on fire within 4 minutes. Take that rip-off matchstick makers!*

    * Requires 4 x AA batteries to light each fire. You must replace the pointer after every other usage. Needs around 400 quids worth of tools to build it.

  33. Charles Manning

    @Ken Hagan

    According to that pesky treaty, it is not OK to blind people which is what would happen if you used a 100mW laser.

    With a multi-kW a shot in the eye would roast the whole brain and kill the person... which of course is fine.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    @ Captain DaFt

    "Or alternatively, you can just use it to print out pictures of goatse and tubgirl, then leave them where your target will see them." That wouldn't work as Fluffykins asked about setting said laser printer to "stun", not set laser printer to "cause targets head to explode". Believe me I've seen people otherwise unmoved by various and assorted disgusting things be pushed damn near the point of spontaneously vomiting on their shoes by either of those pictures.

  35. NT

    Strange choice of name...

    Goddess of family, home, hearth, and sub-impressive directed-energy weapons.

    Surely there were others whose names would have been more likely to evoke the sort of awe that Northrop Grumman were looking for?

    Oh, sorry, yes: 'sharks'. (I gather it's mandatory.)

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Damn this dyslexia ...

    I read "Vesta" as "Vespa" ... imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the article wasn't about laser-totin' Scooters-Of-Death[tm]

    Just as well, though. There's no way you'd fit a scooter onto a shark, even if it did have frickin' laser beams on it.

  37. alan

    @ Chris Priest

    "How the hell is the shark supposed to press the button???"

    They press each others, so if you see one dorsal fin no problems, but two or more start dodging the lasers....

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Be great for survival types

    You could kill and cook your beastie in one go.

  39. Wayland Sothcott
    Thumb Down

    Freekin' lasers on Freekin' Sharks

    What's the Freekin' point, the animals are already Freekin' dangerous, they don't need no (I was gonna say Freekin' again but decided against it) lasers. What are Northrop wasting thier time on this for?

  40. Secretgeek

    Looking at the picture.

    It would seem that the laser is only useful for shooting a bunch of odd shaped dominoes at a distance of about 12 inches.

    I'd be taking that back to the shop if it was me.

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