November 21 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Security Year: 2010 Rating: 5 Hot
The Economist reports that a Humvee-mounted laser is already being used in Iraq to detonate roadside bombs which have plagued the military over the years. And yes, it’s named after the Greek God of lightening.
The Zeus laser (I am inclined to say cannon for all you Final Fantasy fans out there) possesses a range of 300 meters (just shy of 1,000 feet) and has been successfully used in Iraq. Although they only possess one Humvee equipped with the laser, plans are in effect to make more.
Why is the military laser-crazy?
Lasers are the dream weapon for the military. You can fire them from incredible distances with pinpoint accuracy and have the potential to be a game-changer in any battle. Advanced lasers could be used to detonate RPGs or missiles before they get to the target, they can punch through walls, and could potentially blow up ICBMs before they get too far off the ground (Reagan’s infamous Star Wars plan). There’s no ammunition concerns, just power, and despite being totally un-serviceable in the field, the lack of moving parts makes the possibility of breaking very slim.
Are lasers the future?
Despite being incredibly handy, lasers could run into some problems due to the condition of their victims. Some could see the implementation of lasers making a game out of warfare by mimicking video games. Equipping UAVs with lasers brings this concern to a reality. Although everyone loves a quick war, the populace might not take kindly to this kind of warfare. And as with most military technology, will we start seeing civilian applications? God help us.