Friday, December 12, 2014

Fire the ‘laser’

The video above shows a US Navy test of battlefield lasers. Apparently, it was successful. And, snarky though I may be and feel, I actually think this is a very good thing.

Let’s look at this, first, from a complainer’s point of view—how much is this going to cost ME? Well, each laser "hit" costs a fraction of what traditional munitions cost, so every “hit” costs taxpayers less. However, the research and development costs are huge, with a long time to payoff. Even so, the civilian benefits of such research—much like the space program—are bound to be huge.

Many years ago, I used to say that the development of laser battlefield weapons would mean bloodless war, because laser weapons would cauterise the wounds they caused. Maybe so, maybe not, but such weapons are a while away yet (though inevitable).

In the meantime, we’re seeing the beginning of laser weaponry, and that is very cool. I won’t make any value judgements on the technology itself, because it’s neither good nor bad—politicians decide how technology, battlefield technology in particular, is used. Whether we approve or not is for us to decide through our elected representatives—if we can even be bothered to vote.

In any event, while I think this may pale when compared to Romulan disruptors, for us humans, it’s a major change in military armaments. Just as long as we stay in complete control…

No comments: