The Empire’s Dogshit (laser a pirate someday)

Posted in Crazy Weapons at 12:59 pm by George Smith

The US taxpayer has given 98 million to a Northrop Grumman corporate job program — the Maritime Laser Demonstrator — this week’s top dogshit news story at DD blog.

Let’s see what we bought for our money.

First — a viral hit on YouTube — 600,000 or more views, it’s said. (Now it’s over 1 million.)

Even at one million, I’d have thought almost 100 million smacks would buy you more, all things considered.

Anyway, what if you took seriously pitchmen claims that the US navy could put it into action against pirates!?

Here’s an assessment of pirate attacks off Somalia from recent news:

Piracy hit an all-time high worldwide in the first three months of 2011 led by a surge in incidents off the coast of Somalia, a maritime watchdog said Thursday.

The International Maritime Bureau said a record high of 142 attacks in the first quarter came as Somalian pirates become more violent and aggressive.

The International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center said 97 of the attacks occurred off the coast of Somalia, up sharply from 35 in the same period last year.

OK, 97 attacks. Multiply by four for the entire year, round up, and you get 400.

How many pirate attacks was the US Navy in a position to head off last year? Let’s be generous and say half a dozen.

Or double it and say an even dozen.

Let’s assume it will be the same next year.

What’s the percentage that one US navy ship, armed with the Maritime Laser Demonstrator, will be in any force or traveling alone when it comes in contact with Somali pirates?

One in hundred? One in fifty? One in ten?

You see where DD is going.

Get a chance to burn a pirate for 98 million, or two for about 50 M each.

I’d say it’s like getting a hammer made of gold to go after a few bugs you might stumble into but even that seems to come up short.

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