High Powered Submarine Lasers and Toys
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the arm of the Department of Defense responsible for new military technologies. DARPA attempts to identify technology breakthroughs by evaluating those with both revolutionary advantage and near-term feasibility. The most promising projects meeting such criteria are provided further funding to refine military applications.
DARPA is independent of captive (military branch) R&D efforts, and is accountable to senior Pentagon management. An average of 240 employees oversee a variable budget (currently averaging a pittance (only $3.2 billion).
Whatever comes out of DARPA publicly is intended as much for our enemies as taxpayers. In other words, a lot goes on that we never hear about. To my mind that is generally appropriate.
Then, when stuff does come out, the avowed purpose can seem just as sensible to taxpayers as it appears threatening and transparent to potential aggressor nations. Consider the Airborne Laser (ABL) mounted into a Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet, for instance: ... [It] Operates autonomously, above the clouds, outside the range of threat weapons but sufficiently close to enemy territory ... accurately point and fire the high-energy laser, destroying enemy missiles near their launch areas.
Have you got that? Now, wouldn't it also be superb at knocking squadrons of attacking bombers or fighters out of the sky? Next, take a look at this:
With much less weight consideration and a huge increase in power availability, the guts of the high-power laser fits nicely into an SSN. Of course, the mission would not be ballistic missile defense, would it? Preposterous, you say?
Have you heard about H.R. 607: Military Toy Replica Act (To prohibit defense contractors from requiring licenses or fees for use of military likenesses and designations)? It may not be going anywhere (its predecessor died in the 109th Congress), but I would like to remind readers of the sometimes eerie connection between military toys and undisclosed, military planning revealed much, much later. The Aurora plastic model kit for SSN 575 included a deck-mounted missile launcher. Seawolf never had one of those, but over 20 years later she got something that looked similar.
Here is a cheap toy submarine, and no, the light is not a laser: R/C X-SUB World's Smallest Mini Radio Remote Control RC Submarine Available cheap at Amazon. There is a 23 second YouTube, too:
Thinking outside of the box
What do you think its mission would be if the turret laser were mounted atop the submarine's hull? High-powered CO2 laser beams can be invisible in air.
Labels: DARPA ABL video mission