In a grainy, black-and-white video that looks like a home movie of a UFO attack a sleek aircraft streaks through the sky one minute, only to burst into flames the next and plummet into the sea. The silent video, which Raytheon Co. debuts Monday at the U.K.'s Farnborough International Air Show 2010, however, is not science fiction. The defense contractor says it depicts part of a test conducted in May during which the U.S. Navy used a solid-state laser to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles over the Pacific Ocean.
The SyFy fan in me "geeks out" as well as I admire the engineering that went into things that would affect the line-of-sight accuracy like diffraction, weather, cloud cover, etc.
I do have my concerns, however as far as humans and "arms races." We're currently trying to dismantle some of our nuclear arsenal that could destroy the world many times over. Somehow the advent of an actual "death ray," doesn't give me a warm feeling (pardon the pun) as far as nation-state relations.
With predator drones, we've managed in recent news to hit the wrong target more than once, and crews that pilot the predators, be it in CONUS, report stress similar to pilots that experience PTSD from in-theater combat.
- What happens if we hit the wrong target with a laser?
- Or, if a non-governmental agency (i.e. terrorists) get a hold of and implement this technology to down an airliner and either blame us or the Russians - and then sit back and "watch the glow?"
The video is on the link above. I welcome your thoughts. I hope I am only overly cautious, and just need to relax...