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Whatever became of D.E.W.'s?

  1. Jun 10, 2003 #1
    remember the directed energy weapons (or Star Wars) project? what kinds of thing did they create and why aren't they in use? last i remember the problem was they couldn't produce enought energy to create suffecient damage, but that was like 20 years ago. and if we developed fusion one day, could that suffice?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2003 #2

    LURCH

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    Another problem with DEWs is that they really come into their own in a vacuum (where there is no atmosphere to disperse the energy). That means space-based weapons; not very poitically popular.

    However, laser weapons as airborne anti-missile platforms is now a reality. Northrop Grumman recently test-flew and has now delivered a laser-equiped 747 named "BILL" to the DoD. It is designed to fly over a contested area, searching with powerfull RADAR and other sensing equipment to detect a launch in progress, then shoot it down with a chemical laser while it is still climbing. One great advantage of this is that the debris falls back on the ones who launched, and not on the city we're trying to defend.
     
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