Thursday, September 03, 2009


In Stumble and Fail country, it's great to have a global rep as a maker of gigantic weapons and healthcare that doesn't work for a great many people. It's just an obvious fact that our overwhelming and magical technological supremacy in arms development and manufacturing enables us to win wars in mere weeks, sometimes days. All foes are powerless before our might and quickly dispatched. Indeed, it is hard to imagine it having ever been any other way.

Today, from el Reg on the military welfare project known as the Airborne Tactical Laser, something in which funds are transferred from the taxpayer to Boeing as efficiently as possible.

"[It] is a chemically-fuelled laser rather than a solid-state electrically powered one, meaning that it can fire only a limited number of blasts before its sealed, six-ton laser module must be maintained and refuelled with hazardous toxic chemicals," reports el Reg.

"Just how many shots the ATL can fire before being rearmed is unclear, but hints dropped by Pentagon sources suggest it could be as few as six. This compares poorly with the firepower available aboard a normal AC-130 [gunship], leading some analysts to wonder what the point of the ATL really is.

"In years to come, the secret supertroopers of SOCOM may be able to cause a cell tower to stop working, a vehicle's fuel tank to suddenly explode, or a single person to inexplicably be incinerated - all completely silently and tracelessly, without anyone knowing they were ever there and not so much as a spent bullet left behind."

"A single person to be incinerated." Yeah, you'll see that on the evening news when DD can jump to the moon from Pasadena. Or the US becomes the world's biggest and most powerful banana republic.

Oh -- wait -- that's already here.

Mid August on the Weapon of the Week beat: The usual astounding miracles of US might.


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