I would like to see this in action.
Israel Develops Laser to Destroy Roadside Bombs
16:35 Nov 09, '06 / 18 Cheshvan 5767
by Ezra HaLevi
The Israeli Armaments Development Authority (Rafael) has developed a laser system to diffuse destroy roadside bombs, which have killed hundreds of US and Israeli soldiers in Iraq and Lebanon.
Rafael and American defense contractor General Dynamics have produced and deployed the system, which is called Thor. It uses the concentrated energy of a high-powered laser to clear unexploded bombs and improvised explosive devices.
"The directed energy from the laser may also be used to ignite combustible materials, as a standoff cutting torch, and for other combat purposes," General Dynamics said in a statement about the project ahead of US moves to purchase and deploy the system in its army.
Thor combines the Israeli-produced high-energy laser with the Browning M2 12.7-mm machine gun, made by General Dynamics, to destroy explosive devices. The weapon is used with a remote operator control station or mounted on a vehicle or bomb-squad robot.
The Thor system includes sensors that work either in day or nighttime conditions to detect the hidden explosive charge. The developers report that the Thor system has already been deployed in combat operations. “Thor has demonstrated combat effectiveness in operational engagements bringing an additional precision fire gun platform to the fight, while at the same time filling a unique tactical mission role,” Rafael announced.
The developers explain that the directed energy from the laser is capable of rapidly clearing unexploded devices by inducing a low-order burning or deflagration reaction in the explosive material from a safe distance.
“The directed energy from the laser may also be used to ignite combustible materials, as a standoff cutting torch, and for other combat purposes,” the developer explains. “The kinetic energy from the 12.7mm bullet fired by the M2 functions as a standoff disrupter, destroying fusing, thick-cased munitions and ****y traps, also enabling distancing explosive hazards away from the force route. The M2 machine gun ultimately provides accurate, direct fire upon enemy forces and targets in either an offensive or defensive role.”
The Armament Development Authority is supported by Israel’s Ministry of Defense and designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of advanced defense systems.
I would like to see this in action.
I wonder how long it's gonna take for human rights groups to ban/restrict this weapon use because it's inhumane.
AlphaOneSix, I think it's the same system, it's co developed by Rafael and General Dynamics.
Some more info I just found:
Thor – High Energy Laser IED Neutralization System
RAFAEL is introducing at Eurosatory a new high-energy laser weapon system, developed in Israel to defeat improvised explosive charges (IEDs), roadside bombs and unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other objects categorized "potentially explosive hazards". The vehicular, system is mounted on a remotely controlled weapon station, carrying the laser beam director and high-energy laser and coaxial 12.7mm machine gun to neutralize improvised explosive devices from a safe, standoff distance. This dual capability enables Thor to be used for offensive and defensive purposes, as well as for safe stand-off removal of explosive obstacles by laser directed energy or projectile kinetic energy. Since the laser is used to burn the IED, rather than activate it, it can be used to avoid collateral damage which can result from other neutralization procedures. The system's total weight is 850 kg, of which 250, including heavy machine gun and beam director are mounted on the externally.
The directed energy from the laser is capable of rapidly clearing unexploded ordnance and defeating IEDs by inducing a low-order burning or deflagration reaction in the explosive fill at safe stand-off ranges (see photos above). THOR uses powerful, air cooled laser, measuring up to 700 watt. The kinetic energy from the 12.7mm bullet fired by the M2 functions as a standoff disrupter, destroying fusing, thick-cased munitions and ****y traps. The M2 machine gun also provides accurate, direct fire upon enemy forces and targets in either an offensive or defensive role.
The system is modular and can be installed on a variety of vehicles and weapon stations, as an add-on system. The system is already operational is used by Combat Engineering and EOD/IED Defeat Forces, to enable on-the-move removal of explosive obstacles such as IED's, mines, UXO and others, with embedded self-protection capability.
Thor has demonstrated combat effectiveness in operational engagements bringing an additional precision fire gun platform to the fight, while at the same time filling a unique tactical mission role.Developed by Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd., Thor is now available for sale and integration in the United States by GD-OTS through a teaming agreement with Rafael. The system will be on display at the Eurosatory 2006 exhibition in June, 2006
A laser that can be used as a long distance cutting torch? It can detonate road side bombs ...I wonder how long it will be before it is used against personnel (I know for a fact, in my old unit the time lag would have been measured in micro-seconds).
I magine using it against a "road side bomb" that happens to be in the nose of an RPG that happens to be held by an Iraqi terrorist. Zzzzzzzt - Ka -BLAM! Or the road side bomb that happens to be shaped like a grenade on a Afghanistani terrorist belt. Oh, I'm sure the Geneva conventionists will have a field day with this one.MM
I don't know ... I'm sure it has it's uses for bomb disposal but the article allmost seems to suggest that this system could somehow be used to prevent the deaths of all those US and Israeli soldiers killed by roadside bombs in Iraq and Lebanon which just isn't the case.
these troops weren't killed trying to dispose the weapons by shooting at it with some other weapon but because they drove over them without knowing they were there ... you have to find them first before you can use yourlaser
Sounds great for getting rid of the ordanance without either getting some bloke to either deal with it close up or turning the .50 cal on it and having heavy calibre rounds ricochetting around with all the danger that entails
" - sorry about the window and the walls Mr Hassan, we were dealing with an ied a mile away...."
However, how about a safer, better means of detecting the ieds ?
What Sp2c said. Is that a real rock by the side of the road, was it there yesterday?
I always wondered if there was a way to cycle through the band of possible frquencies used to detonate them? Of course that might screw up all cell phone comms too.
I still don't understand how it detects IED. What about does that are
burried and covered?
Still, when you see how some ied 's are perfectly camouflaged (I saw a polyurethane casing looking exactly like a rock ones, inside were a few good kg's of explosive and firing device).
Still, it is nice to see a device that will be usable in urban setting, and create less collateral damage than a 50 cal or a 20gr trigger charge.
- Command Wire is the operator hidden somewhere with a physical wire going from the firing point to the device, could either detcord/electrical wire detonating a blast cap, or a fibre-optic wire(advanced stuff). This type of device cannot be jammed, but the downside to the operator is that he has to be positioned fairly close to the device to blow it up, within good range from the weapons on whatover he decided to have a go at, provided he had a bad marker or worse timing. Detonation is pretty much instant from the trigger is pressed.
- Radio Controlled is just that - a radio controlled device. There are various ways and means for this, but common for all are that they operate on a set frequency and thus can be jammed by existing equipment. I don't want to get into too many details or specifics on the whatnots on RTO-controlled IEDs, but lets just say the badguys are very cunning and have built a good knowledge base on how they do this shďt; What works, what doesn't and how you do it.
- Self detonated is all about mines/pressure plates etc, you get the picture.
As for hiding the devices, i guess you've all heard countless stories from molding makebelieve rocks, encasing 152mm rounds into concrete and burying them to stuffing a corpse full of explosives and waiting. An area of operations where the badguys enjoy good local support will yield the worst of them; Insurgents get ample time to prepare the attack and do not risk getting snitched by the locals, or having the locals warn the coalition forces. Badly planned and executed attacks are on the other end of the scale, think dustbin in the middle of the road with an antenna and wires sticking out of it.
As said, the only way to avoid the visible IED's is to be vigilant, not letting your guard down and not getting complacent. Atleast in Afgh the insurgents have a long tradition of using the same spots again and again for IED's and SA-ambushes, some even dating back to the Soviet campaign, and the coalition are suckers enough to hit them every single time and not expecting it; Things have gone so well the previous 100 times we drove there, can't be anything wrong this time either...
Bottom line is that IED's are a bitch and it's a very effective weapon for the insurgent as long as he is trained and experienced in it's use. This laser is not a wonder-cure but will help get rid of an IED or a suspicious item before sticking your nose in it.