Agree with everything but this...
...since wind is a non issue on light. I doubt that it would pose much of an issue even in the coldest of climates. And position always poses an issue, in order to take out the engines in the Demonstration the unit was mounted out and away from the craft in order to direct the beam clearly at the intended target. But that was mounted TO the craft.
Now try it on two different craft. The surface of the water isn't exactly linear. One craft up other craft down, both crafts down water up. Water being the deciding factor and the height of the targeting craft and how she's sitting in the water. Low or high?
As I said it would take an intricate targeting system(such as which Phalanx operates on) in order to place the beam in the right spot.
Fuel cells on an aircraft are another beast entirely. I don't have the background but I do believe that military aircraft have self sealing wing tanks and their lines aren't like your typical automotive fuel line in that they're not super long. The likelihood of a laser burning through the wing, into a shielded fuel cell and causing engine failure is remote since the system is built with redundancy in mind in order to get the pilot safely back home.
Also keep in mind that the Navy is testing this as a deterrent not(though I'm sure they're considering the option) as an actual weapon. Hmmmm maybe Ronnie Ray Gun was onto something with SDI after all.
Furthermore, many craft have redundancy, that's true - most famously the A-10. However, most craft are designed to have holes blown out of them, not for the fuel lines and wires to be cauterized/melted. Boiling the hydraulic backups, melting the manual backups, and burning out a fuel line means one wing dead, including fuel load. This is speculative, but then again, so is the laser's use on aircraft!
lol i agree. as far as i knew werent we in the biggest recession ever? so this is where tax payers money goes. create new weapons to kill people in different ways. nice one
A Brahmos missile is fired at our aircraft carrier. Despite the odds, it breaks the CBG and Phalanx fails to engage it. It hits the carrier, sinking it with all hands and aircraft on board.
That single carrier would have cost many times, likely, what this program did.
I love the Phalanx system and all its analogues, but it does have its weaknesses. Weaknesses that a laser system addresses.