Directed Beam Weapons

 Directed-Energy Weapons

A former East German physicist who studied Soviet infrared technology and plasmoids during the 60s and 70s, and who was directly involved in a demonstration of a Soviet laser beam weapon in 1991 for the U.S. Air Force in Weimar (DDR), told AFP that there is evidence of a directed-energy weapon using "deep infrared" radiation. Although infrared weapon technology is not widely discussed in the West, the Soviet infrared beam weapon is nothing new and was already used during a Soviet dispute with China in 1969 to destroy "a wall" at the Ussuri River, which separates Manchuria from Russia's Far East, according to the physicist.

Infrared radiation is heat-producing and invisible wavelengths lying between visible light and microwave on the electromagnetic spectrum. "Near" infrared is closest to visible light and "far" or "deep" infrared is closer to microwave. Far infrared waves are thermal and cause increased molecular vibrational activity. In other words, infrared radiation is heat.

A plasmoid cloud is a heated and ionized gas that can be created and projected using far infrared thermal waves. Plasma occurs when a gas is heated so that some electrons have been separated from their atoms or molecules. Ball lightning is considered by experts to be a plasmoid phenomenon.
Israel's Laser Weapon

There are indications, according to the physicist, that such a weapon was used when the KAL plane was shot down over Kamchatka (Soviet Union) in September 1983. In the early 90s, this technology returned to scientific discussions in the West and the technology itself appears to have been transferred from the Soviet Union.

Since 1995, the United States and Israel have actively developed an advanced infrared beam weapon under a joint "anti-missile" program known as the Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL). The THEL is a mobile, high-energy laser weapon.

Although the THEL laser weapon was designed, developed and produced by a TRW-led team of U.S. and Israeli contractors for the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala. and the Israel Ministry of Defense, "requirements for the system have been driven by Israel," according to TRW and industry reports. Lasers are the leading edge of directed energy weapons. Laser weapons have been under active development for twenty years and easily constitute the most advanced of the directed-energy devices. In 1984, Jeff Hecht, author of Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race, wrote, "The military 'destructor beam' definitely is in our future tactical arsenal." The advanced technology and plasma physics involved in directed-energy weapons give them unprecedented lethal power. Among their more important features are:

the ability to fire energy "bullets" at or near the speed of light
the ability to redirect their fire toward multiple targets very rapidly
their very long range and
their ability to transmit lethal doses of energy in seconds or even a fraction of a second.
No conventional ammunition is required — only fuel for the power generator is needed.

The THEL is part of a joint program known as Nautilus, in which the US Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) have developed infrared laser weapon systems. The prime contractor, TRW Space and Electronics Group, has been involved in the development of high-energy laser systems since the early 1970s. A host of Israeli engineers and companies are involved in the program including the aerospace companies Rafael, Israel Aircraft Industries and Tadiran.

The THEL is a mobile system ostensibly designed to destroy rockets, such as the Russian-made Katyusha. The THEL employs the Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL). The MIRACL is a megawatt-class, deuterium-fluoride chemical laser. The weapon's systems can be transported in one or two shipping containers.

The THEL first successfully destroyed a short-range rocket in flight on Feb. 9, 1996. As a result, the US and Israel began joint development of a Tactical High Energy Laser/Rapid Acquisition Demonstrator (THEL/RAD) system.

In April 1996, President Clinton and Secretary of Defense Perry met the then Prime Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres. During the meeting, the U.S. made a commitment to assist Israel in the development of a THEL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD) by the end of 1998. Congress gave more than $55 million for THEL development in 1997. Expense to the U.S. taxpayer and U.S. national security are apparently not considerations at the political level when sharing the results of U.S. weapons development programs with Israel. Nautilus was offered to Israel in the form of a multimillion-dollar "research grant."

The funding for Nautilus research was part of a $2 billion military grants package Clinton offered to Shimon Peres. Israel's access to real-time U.S. satellite imagery and at least $50 million for accelerated development of the "Nautilus" laser system were included in the Clinton package.

"Our commitment to Israel's security is unshakable and it will remain so because Israel must have the right to defend itself, by itself," President Bill Clinton, said as he explained why he was giving Israel an additional $200 million in U.S. taxpayer money above and beyond the $5.5 billion aid in U.S. grants and loan guarantees already given Israel in 1996. Described as the "the world's first high-energy laser weapon system," THEL-ACTD reportedly shot down a rocket with a live warhead on June 6, 2000 at the Army's High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF), White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The THEL-ACTD is a highly mobile "stand-alone defensive weapon system" unlike the earlier version.

"Truly Revolutionary Weapon"

"We've just turned science fiction into reality," said Lt. Gen. John Costello, Commanding General, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command.

"The THEL-ACTD shoot-down is a watershed event for a truly revolutionary weapon," said Tim Hannemann, executive vice president and general manager, TRW Space & Electronics Group.

During the test of THEL-ACTD, an armed Katyusha rocket was fired from a rocket launcher placed at a site in White Sands Missile Range. Seconds later, the THEL-ACTD, located several miles away, detected the launch with its fire control radar, tracked the streaking rocket with its high precision pointer tracker system, then engaged the rocket with its high-energy chemical laser. Within seconds, the 10-foot-long, 5-inch-diameter rocket exploded. In a series of two-rocket salvo tests conducted August 28 and September 22, 2000, in the rolling, high desert of the Army's White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the THEL/ACTD did twice what no other air defense system has ever been designed to do: detect, track and destroy multiple Katyushas in a single engagement. This weaponry, which is usually described as defensive in the context of anti-missile applications, can be mounted on an airplane, ship, land-based station, or satellite. It can bombard its target with either beams that will destroy it outright, or by beams of lesser strength to disable the target's electronics and cause it to go out of control.

"Old" Soviet Technology

In 1991, before the Soviet military withdrew from East Germany, the GRU demonstrated for the U.S. Air Force Electronic Security Command (AFESC) the capabilities of its infrared beam weapon by reducing a ceramic plate into dust from a distance of one mile. This display of Soviet weapon technology was meant to impress upon the U.S. Air Force "how a stealth bomber could be turned into dust in the same way," the physicist said.

The physicist placed a slightly warmed plate on the floor of a kitchen in an apartment on the fifth floor, just below the roof. GRU headquarters in Weimar (DDR), where the infrared beam originated was less than one mile away on the other side of the valley and the second transmitter or reflector was 200 meters away, with no obstacles between. An infrared beam weapons requires two sources.

The TV and the oven were turned on and the TV's remote control was put in the refrigerator. The physicist left the room and watched the TV screen, which went black for a few seconds. The physicist left the apartment for a half hour to allow AFESC personnel to examine the results.

The plate had been reduced to dust that was difficult to pick up even with a vacuum cleaner, according to the physicist. "The plate was not destroyed suddenly as if hit by a bullet, rather it disintegrated in a process taking about 15 minutes."