Lasers Before Butter

Picture credit: Teh Intertubes

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side” – Han Solo

The military’s Star Wars generation looks set to finally get what they surely always wanted, kick ass lazers!

Wired reports:

“On directed energy” — the term for the Navy’s laser cannons, “I’d say two years,” Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, the chief of the Office of Naval Research, told Danger Room in a Monday interview. The previous estimate, which came from Klunder’s laser technicians earlier this year, was that it will take four years at the earliest for a laser gun to come aboard.

“We’re well past physics,” Klunder said, echoing a mantra for the Office of Naval Research’s laser specialists. Now, the questions surrounding a weapon once thought to be purely science fiction sound almost pedestrian. “We’re just going through the integration efforts,” Klunder continued. “Hopefully, that tells you we’re well mature, and we’re ready to put these on naval ships.”

Wired full story

With a mounting fiscal deficit in America the political hot potato that is military funding has been thrown around quite a lot recently. It’s not clear where kick ass lasers may fit into the picture, it’s possible they could be cheaper in the long term.

However, on the subject of defense spending, an op ed in The Los Angeles Times reports:

[T]he thing Obama [during the debates] said that seemed to resonate most across the Twitterverse was an observation about the sheer magnitude of the defense budget. “We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined; China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, you name it. The next 10,” Obama said.

That’s true, but it also understates the case.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an advocacy group for a more fiscally responsible federal budget, noted Tuesday that the United States spends more than the next 13 countries combined.

[My emphasis. Read more in The Los Angeles Times]

Nick Margerrison

I write on Disinfo for fun, I've been a fan of the company for years.

In the real world I'm a freelance TV/radio presenter. I've worked for LBC, Kerrang Radio, The Bay, Edge Media TV, Hallam FM and The BBC.

My podcast is here:

7 Comments on "Lasers Before Butter"

  1. If there’s a right way to waste taxpayer dollars, mounting laser cannons on Navy vessels is surely it.

    • Anarchy Pony | Oct 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

      What makes a first world nation these days? Cool toys. Not effective health care, not income equality, not crime rates. Just cool toys.

  2. InfvoCuernos | Oct 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm |

    You shouldn’t be able to talk about putting laser cannons on ships and being mature in the same sentence. On the bright side, we’ll be more able to repel attacks by aliens now.

  3. BuzzCoastin | Oct 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm |

    Ronny Raygun’s puppet masters had a plan
    get the USSR to spend itself into financial collapse
    by profligate spending on weapons
    it worked
    and now it’s working on the US too

  4. feint_ruled | Oct 30, 2012 at 8:01 am |

    Too pedantic to point out it is spelt laSer, not laZer?
    It’s an acronym – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation

Comments are closed.