The Navy just set a new world record, a test blast from a new type of laser that can shoot cruise missiles from the sky in seconds with a deadly accuracy that simply doesn't exist in the military’s vast arsenal today. And that new record moved them one step closer to proving the "holy grail" of laser guns is real.To create incredible power requires incredible energy. After all, the more power one puts into a laser accelerator, the more powerful and precise the light beam that comes out on the other end. During a private tour of the Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA., on Friday, FoxNews.com saw scientists blast unprecedented levels of power into a prototype accelerator, producing a supercharged electron beam that can burn through 20 feet of steel per second.
The Navy's Laser Sytem
This new Laser constructed by the US Navy might just seem like something cool or make you think we can just point a light at something and watch it be vaporised. Well the second half of that is true, which means that this laser can replace and cause many of the current highly expensive military equipment used for both offensive and defensive purposes. Even as you read this the Navy is working on a modified Boeing 747 that will carry this type of laser in the nose to shoot down enemy aircraft, missiles or even attack ground targets. Now that we have a highly effective means of protection the need for many of our anti-missile defense stations and the amount of Air-to-Air missiles we have can be reduced saving the Navy millions in production and maintenance costs annually. This very large and powerful laser will impact not only our military but will assist all our armed forces and help reduce overall budget costs in this current time of economic difficulties. You can expect to see this take its effect starting in 2012. In addition to reducing material costs, this will save lives of Americans. Now that we do not need to send in our special forces to take out a enemy missile, or to disable a highly sensitive enemy installation we can use a precise laser system without having to worry about collateral damage. Saving money in terms of man power, the time to execute the operation, and costs of supplies needed to run the operation.
The contract to finalize and perfect this laser for the mobile airborne use on the nose of the 747 cost the Navy $163 million. Is this cost justified? is spending all of this money on a new weapon system going to help or hurt the economy? the answer is a matter of individual opinion. The cost of this system should be deemed justified, being that this will replace older and outdated technology that currently costs massive amounts of money to maintain and operate. In addition it will bring about the first variant of this weapon system, and with a existing, working system you can modify it easier then it would be to create a new system all together. In relation to this helping or hurting the economy, the answer is both. It will help out the companies and industries involved in this products creation being they will receive funds from this contract and it will hurt those that are used to work on the current systems. However this is nothing new, it is the impact of advancing technology and change in consumer interest. It is the current, expected economic cycle. The companies with the older products will have to create something new or will go bankrupt and fail. It is the way of modern economics.