Pentagon pouring $1 billion/year into science fiction-style beam weapons mounted on military vehicles

Originally published at: Pentagon pouring $1 billion/year into science fiction-style beam weapons mounted on military vehicles | Boing Boing




I guess I’ve been numbed to the insanely high military budgets in this country, but to be honest $1B a year doesn’t seem that big compared to what they spend on other weapons systems. That’s like 7.6% the cost of an aircraft carrier, or a little more than one stealth bomber. But as they say, a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money…


When your past becomes their future…


dont want to anoy you, but where is the connection besides goverment agencies with to much power?


this shit goes on for a while now;


It was an obsessed with sci-fi ideas that largely came to naught… The Soviets did the same.


I have no idea whether or not the work is being done sensibly and in a way that’s suitable for generic application; but it seems especially modest given that it’s a requirement that basically all branches will have. The non-submarine navy has long been driven by their desire to not join the submarine navy to take an interest in point defense systems, historically guns and missiles but presumably looking forward to lasers; and the various terrestrial branches have been using derivatives of the naval systems (C-RAM LPWS) to deal with mortar and rocket attacks for some time; with the “however much anti-drone capability you have; you don’t have enough anti-drone capability” lesson of the war in Ukraine presumably getting them even jumpier about the subject.

I suspect that there will be a number of blind alleys poked at along the way; but directed energy is pretty much your only other option if you are having difficulty wringing more performance out of autocannons or driving the cost of missiles down.

                                                       pew pew



Lockheed Martin gets a good sized swallow of that sweet government milk. They’re based in Maryland but it’s not clear which state or congresscritter gets to reap the rewards.

Directed Energy Beams Everywhere!:

And of course there’s Israel:

Jerry Drinking Milk by StarMario45 on DeviantArt


We actually deployed a laser mounted on a Humvee to destroy mines/IEDs in Afghanistan and Iraq (the ZEUS/HLONS) back in the aughts. Apparently it was modestly successful.

I really don’t look forward to the day when police argue they need them though. They’re already into military sound weapons which is bad enough.


You can feel which ever way about military spending, but in terms of making headway into uncharted engineering, those deep pockets can certainly explore the fringes and make potential discoveries. If the defense contractors come up with a sufficiently powerful enough laser or directed energy weapon that they start making GI Joe weapons, then a solution to energy storage will not be far behind.

Trickle that down a bit and then you can have your family sedan not weigh as much as a large ICE powered SUV to get 300 miles on a charge.


Um, didn’t that guy on YouTube do this already? Created a portable, concentrated laser that could be mounted on a truck?

I know we’ve seen this on the BB before, I just cannot remember the young man’s name.


Need more trained falcons (wearing protective metal boots) to take down those drones! Worked well enough in Termination Shock. :wink:

But ground-based directed energy defensive weapons would have some nice advantages over existing systems, such as the lack of projectiles/shrapnel raining down on innocent people, and the fact that they can’t shoot over the horizon makes them better suited to defense than offense.

Nikola Tesla had proposed a powerful particle beam that he dubbed a “peace ray” because it would require large, permanent ground-based installations that could not shoot over the horizon to attack other countries, therefore acting only as a defensive deterrent.

Naturally the U.S. military will soon start bolting these things to planes and helicopters for offensive purposes though. :frowning:


… seems to me — since a “beam” exists in the same state at every point between the weapon and the target — any beam weapon capable of destroying a target would also destroy the weapon itself, unless the weapon is “stronger” somehow

All “the enemy” has to do is make its stuff out of the same materials the Pentagon makes its phasers with, whatever that is :thinking:


"I don’t want to go into the specific capabilities that we’re using to protect our forces, other than to say we have a wide variety which does include directed energy capabilities

“I cannot confirm or deny that exactly 9,265 invincible ghost warriors armed with undetectable stealth armor and weapons are already on the ground at the target, waiting for orders. I further cannot confirm or deny that said warriors are also completely silent at all times and receive orders telepathically directly from the President.”

an aide with a clipboard sidles up and whispers in the secretary’s ear

“I’m sorry, I cannot confirm or deny there are 9,267 invincible, silent, ghost warriors. Thank you. No questions.”


on sharks! no less.


Or just add mirrors: