Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here is the entire scoop on why the THEL laser system is NOT being used by the Israeli to defend against incoming rocket artillery rounds fired from Lebanon.

A number of factors are involved here:

* The system, to begin with, was only in the development, demonstration, and proto-type stage.

"The problem with Nautilus," said Rubin, "was that it was just a proof of concept demonstrator, never a deployable weapons system. It was just a lot of tanks and pipes."

* Price for a follow-up system to Nautilus, called M-THEL, was considered to be cost prohibitive.

"But Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon determined that the $200 million price tag was prohibitive."

It is conceded that such a system could work, with limitations. Demonstrations show that the theory and application is sound:

"the Nautilus laser could intercept and destroy salvos of incoming Katyusha rockets well before they could slam into their targets. The ground-based laser cannon also destroyed mortars and conventional artillery shells."

"each "round" fired by the giant laser gun cost just $3,000, making it the cheapest missile defense system per hit ever conceived."

But of course, NOT without drawbacks:

"the drawback to M-THEL was its limited range. According to Northrop Grumman, its engagement envelope -- the protective "bubble," Rubin called it -- only extended around five kilometers from the laser."

"Former internal security minister Uzi Landau . . . has long advocated U.S.-Israeli missile defense cooperation . . .

I'm not sure how effective [M-THEL] would have been for the situation we find ourselves in, with hundreds of attacks spread thinly over a large area . . . You would [need] hundred [s] [of] a large number of laser canons to be effective. It all depends on how much you are prepared to invest."




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home