Feeds

'First production-line energy weapon' now shipping

Northrop delivers 'push-button' electric raygun to USAF

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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 Northrop raygun test range.

Vesta II is described by the company as an "add-on" to the Pentagon's Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) programme, which is intended to produce a weapons grade 100 kilowatt blaster cannon powered by electricity. At present, the only way to produce laser beams with this kind of burn is the use of hazardous chemical fuels.

Northrop are confident that they will roll out a full-strength JHPSSL raygun soon, but in the meantime they have supplied the air force with a small consolation prize in the form of the 15 kW Vesta II unit. Depending on beam focus, this lower power level might suffice against easy targets such as cellphone towers, car engines, unexploded munitions or what have you.

"Vesta II is a unique, compact, high-power laser available for laboratory use as a testing device for lethality, atmospheric propagation, long-range imaging and laser weapon applications," said Northrop raygun boss Dan Wildt.

"We have taken a very large step toward making solid state laser weapons more rugged and easier to field."

The Vesta, described by Northrop as "a laser weapon that utilizes push-buttons for easy operation", has been delivered to the air force research laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate (DED) raygun shop. The US forces reckon that future combat rayguns will be used to shoot down incoming artillery shells or missiles, or perhaps to pick off small ground targets very precisely from the air. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.