An Assault Breacher Vehicle, aka Breacher, is a relic. A life saving relic, a forward-thinking relic, but a relic nonetheless. Watching it primitively plow through mines, knowing it must be transported, the entire package is inefficient.
The future will likely hover over the minefields of Marjah. As Marines push into the surrounding areas of the town, Breachers in front and bomb-sniffing dogs behind, the imprint of a Beoing 747 becomes visible in the background.
Anyone who's seen the History Channel’s That’s Impossible Death Ray episode might find interest in the first successful test of the Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB). The ALTB had been featured shooting down aircraft 60 miles away with its High Energy Laser. Several days ago the ALTB destroyed a liquid and a solid fuel rocket.
“The revolutionary use of directed energy is very attractive for missile defense, with the potential to attack multiple targets at the speed of light, at a range of hundreds of kilometers, and at a low cost per intercept attempt compared to current technologies,” reported the Missile Defense Agency.
In the air or on the ground.
Laser technology is designed top down. Large lasers already exist in space, the quest has always been to mount them on smaller vehicles like tanks and planes, or on hand held weapons. The ALTB has little to do with missile defense in reality, a situation that occurs only rarely.
Laser application really lies in the daily use by US troops and eventually all states with military aspirations. That's Impossible questioned whether an arms race will follow such technology, a rhetorical question if there ever was one.
Envision 30 or 40 years ahead - warplanes buzzing mind fields, super-heating them, and exploding hundreds at once. Drones firing lasers from the air or ground. Marines would wield anti-mine lasers in the streets and fields, zapping IED’s from 100 yards away, insurgents from 5,000 yards away with laser sniper rifles. And imagine if those insurgents happen to capture some laser guns for themselves.
Just things to think about when catching a glimpse of the future.