Fighting With Photons
rating: 0+x


October 30, 2008: The United States Department of Defense is working on a variety of laser-based weapon platforms:

  • Zeus: A directed-energy weapon intended to explode unexploded ordnance from a safe distance. Zeus is effective at up to 300 meters.
  • Laser Area Defence System (LADS): Intended to destroy incoming artillery shells and rockets.
  • Joint High Power Solid State Laser: Intended to destroy larger rockets, such as those fired by Katyusha rocket launchers.
  • Airborne Laser (ABL): Mounted on a converted Boeing 747, it is intended to destroy incoming missiles, including ICBMs at a distance of several hundreds of kilometers.
  • Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL): Another airborne laser, the ATL is intended to disable vehicles and enemy soldiers on the ground at a distance of several kilometers.

See Also



Game and Story Use

  • In a Twenty Minutes Into The Future or Cyperpunk setting, these might be standard military weaponry.
  • If being in the enemy's line of sight can mean your death - as it seems to be the case with such weapons - staying out of sight is going to be even more important than it is now. Thus, soldiers in such a setting who value their survival should mostly stay within buildings, underground, or come to the surface only during heavy rain, fog, sandstorms, and the like.
    • A defender who can create such environmental conditions - whether through magic or technology - can nullify many of the advantages of the attacker.
  • Laser defense systems which can stop any incoming shells, rockets, missiles and so forth, and which can eliminate enemy vehicles and soldiers within line of sight could actually make for good static defense systems if they occupy the high ground - making a kind of siege warfare possible in a high-tech setting.
    • The Heavy Gear setting uses such a setup with many of the cities on Terra Nova.
    • A layered system of defensive lasers - both ground-based turrets and nukes - might actually go a long way towards protecting a nation from nuclear weapons. This might remove the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction - and make war between nuke-armed nations feasible again.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License