back to article UK gives military's frikkin' laser cannon project a second roll of the dice

The UK has awarded contracts for laser cannons to be fitted to tanks and warships, a mere five years after first bounding into the field of directed energy weapons. A government announcement today said that consortia led by Thales and US arms megacorp Raytheon's UK tentacle would see a new laser weapon being tested aboard one …

  1. RuffianXion

    Not interested...

    ...until they can mount them on sharks (or a cloned T-Rex).

    1. Majack

      Re: Not interested...

      Ferrets dude, you can train a ferret, small, great at hiding and can dig.

      1. Ian 69

        Re: Not interested...

        My Grandad didn't die in two world wars, nor did he suffer working 29 hours a day on cups of sulphuric acid for anything less than the prospect of laser armed, high velocity whippets!

        1. JDPower666

          Re: Not interested...

          Well MY grandad didn't die in TEN world wars!

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Not interested...

          Whippets don't need lasers ... 33 pounds of bone and muscle moving at about 33 MPH, roughly at knee level, more than speaks for itself.

          1. Spherical Cow

            Re: Not interested...

            Hang on I need to go convert that...

            ...ok done. 15kg at 15m/s, yes that would hurt.

  2. spold Silver badge

    It's a typo

    >>> The project is known as Team Hersa <<<

    Team HEARSE.

    Please don't connect it to an AI.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A thousand soldiers armed with magnifying glasses standing between the sun and the enemy can do the same thing.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Didn't the Greeks do that once?

      1. Karl Friedrich Gauss

        I think the Greek used polished metal shields. Each man a 1mx1m shield and 1000 men.

    2. Flywheel

      Not in Yorkshire they can't!

    3. Christoph

      Or one London office building with a curved wall

    4. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      A thousand soldiers armed with shiny programmes standing before the sun and the enemy can do the same thing.


      Ideally they should be in a football stadium.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Something found along the way ...

    "US-based dictionaries define it as either a type of harrow used in agriculture"

    As a Yank farmer/rancher who owns (and uses) eight or nine different kinds of harrow, I've never heard of it.

    However, the word herse is French for "harrow", per my Cajun buddy across the valley.

  5. I am David Jones

    “Directed energy weapon”

    Erm…doesn’t that describe any non-chemical/biological weapon since homo-something picked up a rock?

    1. The First Dave

      Re: “Directed energy weapon”

      And was I the only one who thought that a weapon that was powerful enough to melt itself was a good start?

  6. Andy The Hat Silver badge


    "All of these projects are said to be creating 50 new jobs and keeping a further 250 people employed."

    Wouldn't they be better employed digging canals, filling them with very expensive bottled water, pulling the plug and watching it drain away? At least we'd end up with a nice canal tow-path to walk along whereas "all these projects" so far have resulted in nothing useful except some very greasy palms ...

  7. Christoph

    I see a market for chrome-plated drones.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Chrome plating doesn't work.

      Ever sit on a chrome bumper on a hot day?

  8. Aussie Doc


    It's sharks or nothing.

    We've all been just biding our time.

    You know that's what we want.

  9. atropine blackout

    Mirror Image

    Mirrors used in big laser cavities are not quite like the ones in the average bathroom.

    At least one of them - maybe both depending on how the laser cavity is arranged - need to reflect virtually *all* of the light they receive.

    Never easy, but do-able in a clean laser lab (although using dynamic mirrors to hold the beam together looks like piling on the misery).

    However, anyone working with beefy lasers is likely to be familiar with that sinking feeling after a less-reflecty bit suddenly appears on a mirror surface.. Time to open another box of mirrors.

    And when you move the laser outside into a desert or marine environment.....

    Still, there's always the spares and repairs business.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Mirror Image

      Not a problem, the navy has lots of spare sailors and so a deckhand was ordered to clean the mirrors every day. He just has to wait for his turn with the mop.

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Via VAIOSystems, a SMARTR Portal for Trailing and Trialing/AI Mentoring and IT Monitoring

    If that Team Hersa development is neither effectively active in attack nor reactive in defence to NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Command and Control Systems and Augmented Virtually Real Situations, is such a peer competitor and transparent opposition most suited to booting as an almighty friend for overwhelming reward rather than struggling to defeat as a phantom enemy with any kind of novel unconventional, non-traditional directed energy weapon which cannot present itself with a viable target for blasting.

    Если эта разработка Team Hersa не будет ни эффективно атаковать, ни защищаться от NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive ИТ-систем управления и контроля и дополненных виртуально реальных ситуаций, то такой конкурент и прозрачная оппозиция больше всего подходят для загрузки в качестве всемогущего друга за огромную награду, а не изо всех сил пытается победить как фантомного врага с помощью любого нового нетрадиционного, нетрадиционного оружия направленной энергии, которое не может представлять собой жизнеспособную цель для взрыва.

    如果 Hersa 团队的开发既不积极主动地攻击 NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT 指挥和控制系统和增强的虚拟现实情况,也不能有效地防御,那么这样的同行竞争对手和透明的反对派最适合作为全能的朋友启动以获得压倒性的奖励而不是 努力用任何一种新的非常规、非传统的定向能武器作为幻影敌人击败,这些武器无法为自己提供可行的爆破目标。

    إذا لم يكن تطوير Team Hersa نشطًا بشكل فعال في الهجوم ولا رد فعل في الدفاع ضد NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Command and Control Systems and Augment VR Real Situations ، فهو منافس نظير ومعارضة شفافة أكثر ملاءمة للتمهيد كصديق عظيم للحصول على مكافأة ساحقة بدلاً من تكافح من أجل الهزيمة كعدو وهمي مع أي نوع من أسلحة الطاقة الموجهة غير التقليدية وغير التقليدية التي لا يمكن أن تقدم نفسها مع هدف قابل للتطبيق لتفجيره.

    VAIOSystems ..... Virtually Advanced IntelAIgent Operating Systems

    SMARTR Portal ....... SMARTR Mentoring Analysis Reporting on Titanic Research Portal

    A little something Extra ESPecially Extreme for whenever more of the same is never going to do what needs to be so easily done.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Via VAIOSystems, a SMARTR Portal for Trailing and Trialing/AI Mentoring and IT Monitoring

      Here's a tad more news on the novelty here .......

    2. Tail Up

      Re: Via VAIOSystems, a SMARTR Portal for Trailing and Trialing/AI Mentoring and IT Monitoring

      it don't


      gaia terrain not a battle field is





      the Child has escaped. 42 rules


      55 73.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Via VAIOSystems, a SMARTR Portal for Trailing and Trialing/AI Mentoring and IT Monitoring

      Hey, amfM!

      Just a friendly word ... go ogle translate doth not make you a latter day Rosetta Stone.

      HTH ... Cheers!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, we know what these scientists get up to with our taxes...

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, we know what these scientists get up to with our taxes...

      Unless you've worked in a lab you have no idea how true that cartoon is.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Yeah, we know what these scientists get up to with our taxes...

        Shit, if you're a dude with a shed you know how true that cartoon is!

  12. Allonymous Coward

    Pew pew

    See title.

  13. hatti

    The MoD added that £6bn is due to be spent on military R&D over the next four years and that it hopes current projects will be in the practical testing phase "from 2023 to 2025".

    There must be a light sabre in there somewhere, pleeeease.

  14. WhiteDragon43

    And again and again, re-invent a wheel.

    So what happened to the COIL, (Chemical Oxygen and Iodine Laser) that was touted many moons ago as the new super weapon, needed a sighting laser prior to firing and necessary adjustments for differing air density to target. Was a bit too heavy to be fighter mounted but the pumping hydraulics were all sorted out AFAICR and it was intensely touted as perfect for Naval use.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: And again and again, re-invent a wheel.

      "So what happened to the COIL"

      It was not operationally viable as a weapons system ... the useful range was too short in the atmosphere.

      If I remember correctly, they would have had to increase the power output by over 10 times, and then fly about two dozen $1.5 billion converted 747s (at somewhere over one hundred million dollars per year each in maintenance alone) within the borders of Iran to keep a lid on their ballistic missiles. This would have had to be non-stop, a-la Operation Chrome Dome, so the actual number of aircraft would have probably been much higher.

      The range is worse for the navy ... water vapo(u)r dissipates the beam faster.

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