back to article Lockheed Martin demos 50kW anti-aircraft frickin' laser beam

Lockheed Martin this week showed that a 50kW laser being developed for air defense scenarios can be turned on to create a coherent beam, a milestone the defense giant calls "first light." The 50kW-class Directed Energy Interceptor for Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense System, referred to as DEIMOS among those who'd rather not …

  1. Binraider Silver badge

    Must contain a pew-pew sound generator!

    I’m surprised laser countermeasures aren’t being widely discussed. The gimmick with lasers that if you can acquire a target, you have hit it. Thick aerosols, and ablative armour would offer resistance to such capability.

    50kW is well within ability for a vehicle to deliver with a bog standard engine so I’d imagine progress here to be rapid.

    1. blackcat Silver badge

      I work with some of the most efficient lasers (although only a kW or so) and they are 20-25% efficient 'at the plug'. Some exotic lasers are only 1-5%. The power measurements are also generally averaged so peak input power could be hundreds of kW. It likely has a large energy storage system to smooth out the demand.

      Obviously very few details about how it works.

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Power or energy?

        Surely the energy of a laser is only measured in Watts when it is continuous. Otherwise the energy in a laser pulse would be measured in Joules.

        It would be illuminating <groan> to know just how much energy this laser weapon packed.

        1. blackcat Silver badge

          Re: Power or energy?

          To make life easier for the sales people and those that don't understand area under the curve our pulsed lasers are still measured in 'average watts'. Its a bit iffy. I used to work for an RF company and we made MIMO radios and marketing sold them based on the combined wattage of every TX channel 'cos it made number more bigger'.

          1. Pete 2 Silver badge

            Re: Power or energy?

            > 'cos it made number more bigger'.

            Ahhh, I (not really) assumed that to appeal to the military the devices had to be specified in something that sounded like "killer" Watts.

          2. eldakka
            Coat

            Re: Power or energy?

            Thanks for the coherent explanation.

          3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Re: Power or energy?

            Re: marketing sold them based on the combined wattage of every TX channel 'cos it made number more bigger'.

            Nice to see the computer industry isn't the only industry to do that. Anyone remember the Jaguar? Atari hyped that as the first 64 bit console, but that's debatable. It had two CPUs connected to a 32 bit bus (so any CPU ops were limited to 32 bits, but could theoretically be done in parallel). The Blitter did, however, have a 64 bit bus.

        2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

          Re: Power or energy?

          Plug them into one of those Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, and just keep shooting.

          What could possibly go wrong?

          1. Nifty Silver badge

            Re: Power or energy?

            If you stop shooting, the reactor explodes.

      2. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Joke

        The Navy Version...

        Has sharks with frikkin laser beams attached to their heads.

        1. Dizzy Dwarf

          Re: The Navy Version...

          This is why the army version has tanks - for the sharks.

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: The Navy Version...

            Meanwhile, for the Air Force, we can turn to the always trusty xkcd

            https://xkcd.com/585/

            1. timmyhretim@gmail.com

              Re: The Navy Version...

              Just wanted to say thanks for link. I love the comic

        2. very angry man

          Re: The Navy Version...

          Has sharks with frikkin laser beams attached to their heads, and electric eels up it's ass as a power source

      3. Nifty Silver badge

        But the power supply doesn't need to be 100s of kW. Not if you use a flux capacitor, anyway.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Should be able to fry a drone easily.

      That would be very useful at present.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        A lot of drones can be disabled with EM interference and most of them are slow enough for small arms.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: slow enough for small arms.

          So what you're saying is: it's time to ramp up T-Rex cloning then deploy them at squad level, so each squad gets protection from drones and loitering munitions. I like your thinking and I don't see any drawbacks.

          1. Helcat

            Re: slow enough for small arms.

            Pterodactyls, please, for drones.

            And sharks.

            We're talking lasers: Why aren't we also talking sharks!

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: slow enough for small arms.

              And, obviously, ankylosauruses for tanks.

              1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

                Re: slow enough for small arms.

                Like one of these (but noting that Borealopelta is a nodosaur, a type of four-legged ankylosaur with a straight tail rather than a tail club)?

                Researchers look a dinosaur in its remarkably preserved face

              2. Kev99 Silver badge

                Re: slow enough for small arms.

                I think a Giganotosaurus might be better for tanks.

                1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                  Re: slow enough for small arms.

                  Too tall, tank drivers would see it above the treeline and steer clear

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: slow enough for small arms.

            I guess I'm saying: go low-tech where you can, and prepare to defend like that.

        2. Scott 53

          Small arms?

          They work well when attached to a jar of tomatoes https://www.businessinsider.com/kyiv-grandma-took-down-ussian-drone-with-jar-tomato-pickles-2022-3?r=US&IR=T Long arms would be even better

          1. Sampler

            Re: Small arms?

            Thalidomide soldiers?

    3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Thick aerosols, and ablative armour would offer resistance to such capability.

      It could be called Laser Counter-attack Unified Neutralisation Technology System

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          and that is easily countered with Counter Offensive Nuclear Detonation Oodnance & Munitions

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Mayday
        Go

        I need this.

        For next time I’m in with the boss or some cuntstomer.

    4. Snake Silver badge

      RE: aerosols and ablative armour

      It sounds possible, but remember that the targets are military aircraft, where weight is the enemy of performance. Sure, you can add ablative armour to a VTOL Harrier, or a supersonic F-35, but at what cost to their operational mission envelope? And you can't deploy aerosols in front of yourself whilst traveling at Mach 1.1.

      In the short-term at least, until some type of effective countermeasure is created (maybe ablative coatings, rather than armour, for very short burst protection) this may prove to change the game.

      1. Rattus

        Re: RE: aerosols and ablative armour

        or just fit a mirror [0] "glitter ball" drones....

        oh and fly your drones in the rain

        [0] where mirror = reflective surface at the particular spectrum the lasers are using

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE: aerosols and ablative armour

          "or just fit a mirror [0] "glitter ball" drones"

          They tried that. They were able to get the mirror ball part sorted, but current drone tech wasn't able to also lift a suitable sound system to blast disco music.

    5. HammerOn1024

      I was thinking more along the lines of the "Real Genius" popcorn popper.

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Must contain a pew-pew sound generator!"

      And don't forget the huge barrel with a "heavy mass" recoil motion each time it fires. All the best SF pulse lasers do that!

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        The recoil is from the massive cloud of glitter those cannon fire so that you can clearly see the laser beam from the side.

  2. Richard Gray 1
    Coat

    Frikkin Lasers

    If someone doesn't develop an armoured vehicle called "Shark" so we can have a shark with frikkin lasers I'll be very disappointed

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Frikkin Lasers

      I am laying claim to the following:

      SHort Attack Range Kilowatt Laser - SHARK Laser

      I will happily license this name to anyone who wants to build one. ;)

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Frikkin Lasers

        Well, I already have a CHARM Laser.

        The CoHerent Attack Range Megawatt Laser. It will obliterate your puny shark laser.

      2. agurney

        Re: Frikkin Lasers

        I am laying claim to the following:

        SHort Attack Range Kilowatt Laser - SHARK Laser

        I will happily license this name to anyone who wants to build one. ;)

        .. there's a new shiny version to counter the disco ball defenc(s)e : Short Prismatic Attack Range Kilowatt Laser - SPARKL :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Frikkin Lasers

      so we can have a shark with frikkin lasers

      You want a Shark with F.R.I.K.K.I.N lasers?

      Focused Radiation Impulse Kilowatt Kinetic Interdiction Neutraliser

      Dr. Evil would be pleased...

    3. Helcat
      Pint

      Re: Frikkin Lasers

      Darn, someone was talking about sharks! Have one of these :

  3. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Does that work in a foggy weather?

    1. SkippyBing

      No, but I think that would probably stop the small drone threat as well. Missiles and artillery shells not so much.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        It depends on the exact laser frequency and whether that is absorbed by atmospheric water. Lowest absorbition in the visible spectrum is just below ultraviolet. Water seems to have a high absorbtion range, so, particularly toward red and infrared.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_absorption_by_water

        1. Filippo Silver badge

          At the power levels we're talking about, if the beam is absorbed by water, wouldn't it just vaporize it along the beam trajectory in the first few milliseconds?

          At which point, wouldn't the expanding steam just push away surrounding water?

          In fact, wouldn't the sudden expansion of the steam cause a small but sudden shock wave?

          If the laser is pulsed rapidly, wouldn't there be a few such shock waves in quick succession until the path is clear?

          Wouldn't that sound just like a loud high-frequency sound wave?

          Something like 'PEW'?

    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      To be fair, fog probably doesn't contain much more water than "clear" air, it's just that it has precipitated into tiny droplets rather than being water vapour. The difference between warm humid air, and cold foggy air, is the temperature. Having 50 kW of photons pumped through you is likely to warm you up pretty quickly, and turn the latter into the former, if the laser is tuned to a frequency that is absorbed by water vapour or other common atmospheric components (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and so on). I would actually anticipate that the laser might be at a wavelength that isn't absorbed by such things. Possibly near-UV.

  4. PerlyKing
    FAIL

    DEIMOS

    "Directed Energy Interceptor for Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense System"

    OK, I can see DEIM, but it looks like they gave up on a proper backronym after that. 5/10, must try harder.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: DEIMOS

      ObSolete by the time it's ready for deployment?

  5. Roger Kynaston
    Coat

    Stryker

    "They can't be lost. They are on instruments"

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Stryker

      Looking at the graphic used by El Reg, I'm thinking more along the lines of Straker.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Stryker

      Calling @My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      https://forums.theregister.com/user/88379

      Last seen 2 days ago

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
        Thumb Down

        Re: Stryker

        I purposely ignored this article and comments. I will copy/paste what I posted elsewhere...

        They built the prototype vehicle (cut off the rear portion of the crew compartment) in the same facility where I used to work, then stuck on the laser unit.

        I worked in Mobility Engineering, which also handled electric power generation, but did they ever ask us to contribute to help power the laser? NO. They always gathered some special team of engineers who didn't know squat about the vehicles, designing/building for (hopeful/eventual) production, or sustainability, or even balanced performance (electric power vs. mobility power -- we had folks who made awesome sims to check just that).

        Ignoring (or downsizing, or the worst: paying them to leave with a buyout) the people already hired and trained to do the job and who already knew the ins and outs of the vehicle in question -- much of why I finally left.

    3. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Stryker

      Surely you can't be serious.

      1. StuartMcL

        Re: Stryker

        Don't call me Shirley.

        (Someone had to say it)

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Stryker

          Thank you. I was following the lead set by OP Roger Kynaston, which was obviously - or so I thought, might be mistaken - an Airplane! quote.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mirrors?

    ... and as a countermeasure, missiles will be painted in a mirror finish and drones come dressed as disco balls.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mirrors?

      Mirrors aren't 100% reflective, and their reflectivity is dependant on the wavelength of light. This means that as a worst case scenario, for a short period of time, *if* the target has a mirror specially tailored to reflect your laser wavelength well, you will only be putting (say) 1% of your laser energy into the target. Absorption is very likely to increase as the surface temperature increases beyond a certain point, so your laser beam will get absorbed once you've held it on target for a short time and heated up the surface, at which point the mirror will be melted.

      However.... if you chose your laser wavelength correctly, it will be *very* difficult to engineer a missile that has a reflective surface that will survive the environments the target missile will be subjected to. (Hot due to air friction after launch, plus needs to be able to survive moisture, hail, very cold and very hot ambient storage temperatures, etc.)

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Mirrors?

      The tiniest fleck of dirt or imperfection will rapidly heat up and damage the mirror around that point. This increases laser absorbtion in the damaged areas and further increases the damage. It might take a few more seconds with the laser on target, but the end result is still the same.

      Spinning the target can resist a laser attack for longer, but not much longer.

      Ablative armour which creates a vapour cloud at the contact site is the most viable defence, as the vapour will block the laser (momentarily - the target is moving through air, so ablated material is rapidly swept away). Trouble is you need a lot of material, which isn't a great option for missiles, mortars, artillery rounds etc. And the ablative armour will still transfer heat to the rest of the target, just not as quickly.

    3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: Mirrors? (Don't) Paint it Black

      Well, how about mirrors that reflect the beam back whence it came? That is what the Apollo astronauts left on the Moon to reflect laser beams allowing very accurate measurement of the Earth-Moon distance. It is all very well firing a 50kW laser at your enemy, but getting it back immediately could be slightly risky, even if somewhat diluted by the return journey and imperfect reflection.

      https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/laser-beams-reflected-between-earth-and-moon-boost-science

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Mirrors? (Don't) Paint it Black

        Projector screens are retroreflective. Nip to the local fleapit to borrow one of those for protection and you can camouflage yourself as a drive-in cinema.

        For bonus points, show the enemy "Primer" and take advantage of the confusion as they try to figure out what is actually going on in that movie: https://xkcd.com/657/

    4. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Mirrors?

      ...and as a countermeasure, missiles will be painted in a mirror finish and drones come dressed as disco balls.

      War is hell funktastic!

    5. David Hicklin Bronze badge

      Re: Mirrors?

      Just modulate the laser frequency aka Star Trek

  7. steviebuk Silver badge

    Don't

    shine it at the cats.

    I'll get my coat.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Don't

      This is 'Murica you're talking about, where folks have used miniguns for "hunting".

      Being a Brit I can hardly criticise our illustrious history of seeking out delicious rare species and exterminating them; albeit not nearly with so much lead.

  8. Yorick Hunt Silver badge
    Angel

    Been there, done that

    Didn't they demonstrate this a few years ago? Potentially useful against balsawood gliders flying at no more than five knots, not so useful against anything bigger/faster/stronger.

    Good ol' US of A... Why waste effort on technology when you can make so much more money through marketing, eh?

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Been there, done that

      Indeed, and if there's one thing we know about technology, especially military technology, it's that it never gets smaller, faster, more powerful, and cheaper over time. Which is why modern-ish Russian main battle tanks in Ukraine are definitely not getting destroyed in company-sized numbers by man-portable weaponry and drones.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Been there, done that

      The link in TFA shows the 'neutralisation' of an MQM-107 target drone, so more like a cruise missile than a balsa wood plane.

      Of course, this was a fixed emplacement, in perfect conditions etc.

      Also as TFA points out, even a system that can only take out quad-rotor* drones would be useful on today's battlefields.

      (* or hex-rotor etc.)

  9. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Dating, military style

    > when a fixed laser battery took out a surrogate cruise missile

    I hope they had a very nice evening together

    1. steelpillow Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Dating, military style

      It went great until the battery drank too much and went flat....

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Dating, military style

        It went great until the battery drank too much and went flat....

        ...and staggered back home well after midnight, to be greeted by its mum with a cry of "Wire you insulate?"

  10. s. pam Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Wahey -- Skynet is here!

    Get out the bunting, next we'll have autonomous robots with simularly equally powered frigging lasers in their eyes!

    1. TangoDelta72

      Re: Wahey -- Skynet is here!

      We are one step closer: Not quite a T1000, but it's a start.

  11. pip25
    Meh

    "Affordable"

    By US military standards, I'm sure.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Colour

    Are they red or green lasers - depending if they are being fired by the "goodies" or the "baddies"?

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Colour

      Harrumph. I believe this is more of a GI Joe scenario than Star Wars, so it would be red lasers vs. blue lasers. Presumably these would be blue lasers.

      Now you know . . . and knowing is half the battle. (The other half is extreme violence.)

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. juice

    Props for the SWIV reference in the article lead

    For the young whippersnappers among us, SWIV was a fairly popular shmup back in the early 90s, in which you could control a heavily armed jeep (and/or helicopter) and deal hot laser death to the usual hordes of enemy vehicles.

    Though arguably, the jeep in later game SWIV 3D more closely resembles the mock-up...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWIV_3D

  15. Eric Kimminau TREG

    Mirrorred surface weapons?

    Ive always wondered how long it will take for weapons designers to start using reflective surfaces once "fricken laster beams" become the defensive weapon of choice?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Mirrorred surface weapons?

      The drawback of a highly reflective surface is that every other weapon now has an easy time detecting your presence and locking on.

  16. Eric Kimminau TREG

    MOWAG Shark

    For those looking for the SHARK Military vehicle, I give you the MOWAG Shark

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOWAG_Shark

  17. Jan 0 Silver badge

    A 3 kW kettle can heat a litre of water from 15 to 100 C in about 2 minutes*, So 50 kW would do the same in about 7 seconds. How much energy do you need to get into, some small section of, the missile before damaging it? It must be difficult, given our turbulent atmosphere, to keep that hot spot aimed at the same moving coordinates for long enough± to disable something critical? They're boiling a metal surface rather than water. I see, elsewhere, that proper laser weapons will need 0.3 to 1.0 MW beams. For how long does that beam need to be focussed on the target?

    *according to "Which", a Limey imitation of "Consumer Reports".

    ± it's going to need more than a fraction of a second!

    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      It doesn't need to boil a litre of water (which has a much higher specific heat capacity than many other materials), it needs to make a big enough hole through the working parts of an attacking missile / drone / vehicle to cause a failure. A 1cm x 5cm hole through the fuselage of a missile and into the control systems or fuel tank would be enough to make it go off target or go boom. I seriously doubt there are useful missiles up there that have a thick fuselage, because weight is definitely a factor when launching things fast to go long distances.

      Similarly, small off-the-shelf drones are going to probably have plastic or aluminium fuselages not more than a couple of millimetres thickness (and probably not even that), military drones and aircraft may be better armoured, but there is always the trade-off between weight and performance / fuel use. Nobody is flying fighter planes or bombers with centimetres thicknesses of armour on them because they would never get off the ground.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Nobody is flying fighter planes or bombers with centimetres thicknesses of armour on them because they would never get off the ground."

        And yet somehow the A-10 continues to throw itself at the ground and miss...

        "The cockpit and parts of the flight-control systems are protected by 1,200 lb (540 kg) of titanium aircraft armor, ... It is made up of titanium plates with thicknesses varying from 0.5 to 1.5 inches (13 to 38 mm) determined by a study of likely trajectories and deflection angles."

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          And I can guarantee you that the A-10 (from 1977) is going to be a hell of a lot less speedy or nimble than a modern fighter. For example, the F117-A (which isn't even a current generation craft) is twice as fast. I seriously doubt that those have titanium plates bolted onto the bottom.

  18. FrenchFries!

    Weird Science

    Can it Jiffy Pop a mansion?

    1. spuck

      Re: Weird Science

      I think you mean Real Genius

      1. blackcat Silver badge

        Re: Weird Science

        Epic film!

  19. ukgnome

    Unless they plan to mount these lasers on a shark I am not interested

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Have to be a big shark. Perhaps if we set up a Megalodon breeding programme - what could possibly go wrong?

      Have to keep an eye on Jason Statham though.

  20. trindflo Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    SDI / Star Wars Program

    Had to be said.

    wiki/Strategic_Defense_Initiative

    It's been 40 years...is that long enough for science fiction to have become reality? I hope they aren't planning on using quantum computers.

    1. Sanguma

      Re: SDI / Star Wars Program

      The Third Ronnie's Star Wars? Or was it Star Warts? Help me out here ...

  21. the GCHRD

    Neglect Democracy, Build Nightmare Weapons Instead

    If I assume the Putins of the world are inevitable, the weapon is a great advancement. What if this endless conveyor is not inevitable?

    Unfortunately the 'inevitable' mindset incorrectly assumes we must always accept the legitimacy of Putins after they cheat to gain power. We supposedly live in a rules based society, the rational-legal framework. The cheapest 'cost per shot' would be for NATO allies to strengthen the legal framework around fair elections. Putin, Sunak, Trump, Bolsanaro, and the Generals of Myanmar cannot win a fair election.

    Second, UN member states should stop switching from the rational-legal framework to feudal deference, when a dictator or autocrat assumes power, with no legitimate mandate. This throwback to medieval days, when you could kill your brother or storm the palace to get the crown, cannot not continue to be recognized as a path to power.

    There will always be cheats and scoundrels. We know how to write a fair election process that excludes them. That process must become the international standard. Shun anyone who games the system and only engage with legitimate leaders. Immediately shut down all international cooperation until a certified election is held to correct the crime. They cannot survive without international cooperation and the serious threat of a completely closed physical and economic border would likely deter any further attempts.

    The absence of a few pages of election standards and the absence of international agreement to support those standards, with NATO-like solidarity, allows the Putin scenario to repeat and repeat. When will we stand up for each other and demand that our governments treat the root causes, not the expensive and deadly consequences. Every place in the world where we allowed the fairness of elections to be damaged, has become a nest of violence and corruption.

    The cheapest 'cost per shot' is no shot.

  22. DS999 Silver badge
    Devil

    $3.50 per shot

    That's a serious failure in the program, defense contractors will need to up that by at least 5 or 6 orders of magnitude or the C suite won't be getting their usual bonuses!

  23. Sampler

    Grouped?

    So, if you need 1MW for ballistic missiles, and the best they can do is 300kW, couldn't they just get a bunch of them and point them at the same target?

    1. aregross

      Re: Grouped?

      I, for one, would like to know that answer!

    2. Sanguma

      Re: Grouped?

      You'd also need a bunch of 300kW power generators, and they are bound to be big, bigger than the frikkin shark lasers, and so, much more difficult to set up and cart around.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Grouped?

        The M1A1's turbine engine outputs 1.1 megawatts, so you could strap a frickin' laser on it instead of (or I guess in addition to) the traditional turret's armament and hardly even dent its top speed of 45 mph.

  24. Bartholomew
    Coat

    shiny metal missiles ?

    So will the peak of anti-laser technology be gold plated missiles (gold has fantastic IR reflecting properties and does not tarnish).

    Or the cheaper option - will future squaddies, as part of their intense training, be learning how to polish more types of metal than just their dress uniform buttons, medals and insignia.

    1. Sanguma

      Re: shiny metal missiles ?

      Nah, gold plated missiles will be the pork of anti-laser technology.

  25. Chris Manson

    'DEIMOS' means 'terror' (I think)

    A handy reference is that this is also the name of one of two satellites of Mars (God of War).

    The other being 'Phobos' (Fear)

    https://www.space.com/20413-phobos-deimos-mars-moons.html

    1. Sanguma

      Deimos

      its adjectival form appears in the word "dinosaur" - terrible/terrifying lizard. So yes, it does mean "terror", one of the constant companions of the God of War.

  26. Grunchy Silver badge

    C-RAM obsolete?

    Wouldn't it be funny if they were shooting up the sky with laser beams and they accidentally took out a satellite or space telescope or space station !

    Talk about being embarrassed !

  27. ChrisBedford

    Jeeezzuzz all the corporate buzzwords eh

    You could play a very entertaining game of bullshit bingo with the responses from the company.

  28. Paul_Murphy

    I'm surprised that noone has mentioned Dragonfire yet.

    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/british-dragonfire-laser-weapon-test-fired-in-the-uk/

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Years ago a friend of mine was involved in the development of laser weapons to take out sensors on aircraft. Millions were spent on the project and the lasers cost a small fortune to make. Some one then invented a coating for glass that reacted to the laser and stoped it going through the glass. The coating was relatively cheap to manufacture and fit. The laser project was then dead in the water.

  30. W4YBO

    "First Light"

    As an amateur astronomer, I'm a little irritated that Lockheed Martin have taken it upon themselves to redefine "First Light." First Light for a telescope occurs after all the setup, alignment, collimation, etc. that makes the telescope useable for observing.

    However, I'm retired now, so being irritated is included in my current job description. Excuse me. I've got to shoo some kids off the lawn.

  31. Delta Oscar

    Hmmmmm....50KW: given (presumably) this device will require more than 50Kw in supply power, that will be some alternator under the bonnet (hood)?

    1. annodomini2

      Lasers are typically around 10% efficient, so iro 500kW

  32. Colin Bain
    Mushroom

    Cost

    " to affordably meet" seems out of place in a discussion on arms, although the bean counters will be laser focussed on the accounts, I am sure

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