Feeds

'First production-line energy weapon' now shipping

Northrop delivers 'push-button' electric raygun to USAF

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.