What new technology will show itself during this war? - RC Groups
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Feb 03, 2003, 03:26 AM
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Mike C's Avatar

What new technology will show itself during this war?

I was just thinking that during Desert Storm we had our first view of the Stealth fighter. Of course it had been operational for a while but the aircraft wasn't known to the general public. It was also the first time that GPS was used to keep track of ground forces. It has been more than a decade since that conflict and I can't think of any major new developments in equipment. I guess some would say that the new UAV's count but I see that as a progession of an already existing system.
Feb 03, 2003, 07:53 AM
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Microwave and Directed Energy weapons-they are the 'new thing' as well as a boat load of mission specific smart munitions.

Some of the new weapon systems we've been working on border on the bizaar, some of them less so but just as effective. Remember the pictures that came back from Iraq of freeways of hundreds of neatly burned out vehicles? How do you think it was possible to get that many in one place at one time and not even have a few try to make a run across the desert? It was done by a particle beam (laser) from a helicopter. Ten years is a loooooong time to come up with new toys.... *IF* the Iraqi military wants to fight, I think it will be like dynamite fishing in a garbage can. Boom Y'all.

I'm willing to bet that if Iraq is foolish enough to use Chem or Bio weapons, they are going to get nuked. If is us that pushes the button, it will probably just be a tactical nuke (aka Dial-a-Hurt in military lingo). If Saddam does anything to Israel this time, I think there are going to be many large glass factories in Iraq. Everybody has publicly said they will use Nukes if they have to. I just hope that if it has to happen that it's for the right reason and not near a major population center. We have nukes small enough not to cause serious collateral damage-I don't know about the Israelis.

Feb 03, 2003, 09:09 AM
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member73's Avatar

Partical beam? Please put down the sci-fi books and back away .

Boeing is having a hard enough time stuffing a laser into a 747. They will be using the entire fuse for the emitter and power pack. And this laser is only powerful enough to knock out a ICBM (thin aluminum skin). Sorry, but I don't think we'd be spending millions on this program if we already had a helicopter mounted laser weapon that could blow up a truck. Besides, anti-personel bomblets do a very effective job at taking out long strings of "soft targets".

BTW, I do agree with your predictions of directed energy weapons. Seems like EMP bombs will be the flavor of the month.
Feb 03, 2003, 10:57 AM
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Phil G's Avatar
Laser on heli "paints" target. Missiles see laser dot. Target goes away.

IIRC laser wouldn't be considered a particle beam weapon, unless you are thinking of the "wavicle"(sp) theory of light as both particle and wave...

Feb 03, 2003, 05:30 PM
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You are right, we were having packaging trouble stuffing a laser into a 747-THIRTY years ago...

By the time you get to read about it in Popular Science, it's already been a reality for 10 years, just like the F117 Stealth Fighter.

And no, I wasn't meaning that the laser was used for target designation. My uncle (101st ABN) was there in Iraq. His outfit refueled the helis.

I can't wait to see what we roll out this spring for the Iraqis. The last time the world got to see what was in our toy box, it caused the Evil Empire to collapse! Russia decided that they couldn't compete anymore and a rift fromed between the pols and generals, and after a failed coup the USSR ceased to exist.

Feb 03, 2003, 05:53 PM
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SoaringDragon's Avatar
I'd sure like to hear from your uncle, or anyone, how you could put that much energy density into a helicopter.
Feb 03, 2003, 07:40 PM
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>> How do you think it was possible to get that many in one place at one time and not even have a few try to make a run across the desert?

How many rounds per minute can an A-10's 30mm GAU-8/A Gatling gun fire? (Answer: 3,900).
Feb 03, 2003, 07:50 PM
the journey is the reward
Hammer Head's Avatar

Not for the faint of heart.

Technology in action


Desert, bodies and lots of DU.

Feb 03, 2003, 08:43 PM
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Looking at the photos is a grim reminder of why we should all consider armed conflict as a last resort after all reasonable efforts have been made to resolve situations like this through diplomatic means. Unfortunately, diplomacy does not always work, and sometimes we reluctantly become part of a great ugliness.

Whenever I see people talking enthusiastically about the use of weapons of any kind, it reminds me that those of us who have served in times of conflict tend to have a somewhat different outlook. I think A-10 driver Capt. Jack W. Thomas, USAF, put it in good perspective:

"We got three confirmed tanks - it's all on film - and the fact that I killed several people that night really shook me up - I cried several times, but also knew it was them or my Marines. I tell you that to take pride in your country, it's ideology and foundation, but to never forget these are real people dying."

Feb 03, 2003, 11:19 PM
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member73's Avatar
Sorry Dave, I was working on a very small part of that 747 laser program a year ago. It was still a developmental part for the test bed, and was not even a flight weight component. Yes the military does have weapons that we don't know about, but a helicopter mounted laser with the power to anything more than create a bright dot a couple of miles away is not one of them. Some day soon perhaps, but not yet.
Feb 03, 2003, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by Dave Campbell
The last time the world got to see what was in our toy box, it caused the Evil Empire to collapse! Russia decided that they couldn't compete anymore and a rift fromed between the pols and generals, and after a failed coup the USSR ceased to exist.
The collapse of the former Soviet Union was well underway long before Desert Storm. It had nothing to do with what was in our "toy box" .

While it's true that they were unable to keep up with the U.S. in the arms race a far more critical factor was the failure of the Soviet economy and it's inability to meet the basic needs of it's people. These problems began long before Desert Storm.
Feb 04, 2003, 07:51 AM
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If I were going to power a laser and it had to be airmobile, I'd consider a small nuclear reactor as my first avenue of research. The best lasers (commercially, at least) only put out about 10% of the power that goes into them, so we are talking about huge amounts of power to emit any kind of damaging energy, and then more again to cool the laser and power supply.

I would buy the cluster bomb and A-10 scenario if the vehicles were abandon before they were attacked. There were just too many of them in one place, and the action-to me at least-didn't look like it were a protracted one given that none of the vehicles tried to get away. I don't think it's possible to drop that many cluster bombs or do enough strafing runs to cause that much destruction without creating a panic. This is why I didn't and don't question what he told me. That, and he's a pretty straight shooter.

Dave-I don't want to sound all gung-ho about killing people, I am just really, really into military weapons and equipment in general. Heck, this weekend I was shooting machine guns in Ohio-doesn't mean I want to be there to see what they do to Iraqis.. The engineering and thought put into our military goods is absolutely astonishing-if we put as much effort into life's other problems, the world truly would be a better place.

I know some people will have a hard time swallowing this, but I think it's exciting that we can overcome an adversary like Iraq in 4 days. I appreciate that it didn't take longer-that would have meant a lot more people dying-particularly Americans. Without better, more interesting weapons it wouldn't be possible.

Feb 04, 2003, 07:58 AM
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Russia was well on it's way to falling apart before the Gulf War, I understand that. What the war did was show the Russians what we were capable of when toying with an enemy-we didn't even need to pull out the good stuff to roll over the world's 4th largest army. That had to unsettle the Russians. The politicians knew they couldn't continue to try to outspend us in defense dollars, and knew they were a long way behind our game.

What followed was a disagreement between Russia's military and her leaders about how to fix the problem. That lead to the coup, and accelerated the fall of the Soviet Empire.

Feb 04, 2003, 08:06 AM
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ScottS's Avatar
I am assuming you are talking about the road of death pictures?? Simply shoot the front and rear and now you have a traffic jam, simple things like accidents cause this all the time on US roads. In the pictures I saw you will notice that although there are some bodies, there aren't nearly enough for a entire retreating army. They weren't all totaly stupid, most had already learned that once the airplanes show up anything that looks a vehicles dies, so they jumped out an ran on foot. The result was a nice row of burned up abandon vehicles.
Feb 04, 2003, 09:09 AM
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I understand the interest in weapons systems. Many of us are fascinated by the technology. I'm sure that we all have mixed feelings about this when we consider what these weapons do to people. The most positive way to look at advanced weapons is that they are so good at what they do that they deter aggressors from taking actions that would trigger armed conflict. The next most positive thing is that if a situation develops where these weapons must be used, they help reduce friendly casualties by quickly taking out the enemy. Finally, if advanced weapons result in a shorter conflict, fewer people on the other side will lose their lives than in a protracted conflict.

This may sound a little strange to some. But I think it should be a source of pride for Americans that the U.S. dedicates so much funding and resources to develop smart weapons that are better at taking out hostile military targets with reduced collateral damage and civilian casualties. This represents a monumental difference in philosophy when compared with those who are dedicated to inflicting maximum casualties among innocent civilians -- men, women and children.