Apparently Northrop Grumman has developed a laser system that can successfully shoot down artillery, rocket, and mortar rounds.
I'm surprised. The Patriot system that supposedly did a good job on Scuds in the Gulf War proved on subsequent analysis to have not to have been as good as believed, and proposed Star Wars technology has had persistent problems. I had no idea we were this close to being able to blow up incoming ordinance, but the article says that in tests on August 24, even salvos of mortar rounds were successfully knocked out.
Russians call artillery 'The God of War'. Maybe we're about to become atheists.
What does this mean for warfare? I don't think it means anything for bullets for a long time to come: you can blow up an artillery shell because it has an explosive load, but a bullet you would have melt entirely, and that would require a lot more energy. There will still be bullets. But the day may soon be here that we can completely neutralize all incoming artillery, rockets, and bombs. Surely this is good. But—
Bush said the other day that one of the problems in Iraq was that the war had been 'catastrophically successful'. I.e., it was so well fought by the Coalition that it was over very quickly, and the Baathist armed forces that would have been destroyed in war of normal length are still around, turned into guerilla fighters, and the post-war environment is more troublesome than the war was.
If the THEL system is successful, wars will become even shorter for the side which has it. Much more attention will need to be paid to the post-war situation, in which THEL will not help much.
Link via Engadget
== genkaku == (noun which takes な to function as an adjective) severe, rigid, strictness, rigor, austerity
|Inner radical is 'daring' (敢). Henshall suggests taking the left/outer radical as 'ornate building', as a mnemonic: 'Daringly ornate building is strictly solemn.'|