Feeds

Enormous raygun-on-a-lorry project acquires lorry

Now we just need a raygun

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Plans by the US military-industrial complex to mount a laser cannon on an enormous lorry are moving forward. The enormous lorry in question has now been received by the firm providing the laser cannon, famed arms'n'aerospace globocorp Boeing.

Boeing says it received a mighty Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) intended to become the world's first ground combat raygun vehicle from lorry maker Oshkosh last month. The 8x8 beast weights in at 20 tonnes.

"This demonstration program has successfully transitioned from the design phase to the fabrication phase," said Boeing Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit. "This transformational, solid-state laser weapon capability will provide speed-of-light, ultra-precision capability that will dramatically improve warfighters' ability to counter rocket, artillery and mortar projectiles."

The blaster-lorry will be known as High Energy Laser Tactical Demonstrator (HEL TD), and is notionally meant to park up in a US military base overseas. Should local malfeasants commence to lob rockets or mortars into the perimeter, HEL TD would fire up and ray the projectiles into flaming incandescent debris in midair.

At the moment, automatically-aimed gatling cannon are sometimes used for this task. Self-destruct timer fuses are used in the shells so as to avoid raining too much destruction down on the surrounding neighbourhood, but even so a fair number of duds get scattered about. Lasers wouldn't have this problem; nor would they run out of ammo as easily (provided they were solid state electric jobs rather than cumbersome chemically-fuelled ones as seen in the laser jumbo jet).

It's now known that powerful 100kW battle-strength solid state lasers can be built, but not by Boeing - by rival deathware goliath Northrop. Thus far, Boeing's solid state laser offerings have seemed perhaps a little puny.

The firm does little to allay such concerns, saying: "HEL TD testing against real targets, but using a low-power surrogate for the high-energy laser, is scheduled for fiscal year 2011".

Our readers in the high-net-worth, global domination aspirant, shark-fancying community needn't get too excited yet. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.