4/08/2013 2:54pm, #1
US Navy LaWS Demo (shipboard laser weapons)
Too awesome for words. Ready to deploy next year.
Live demo released today.
See drone. See drone fly. See drone get lased.
The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) in San Diego, Calif., is a technology demonstrator built by the Naval Sea Systems Command from commercial fiber solid state lasers, utilizing combination methods developed at the Naval Research Laboratory. LaWS can be directed onto targets from the radar track obtained from a MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon system or other targeting source. The Office of Naval Research's Solid State Laser (SSL) portfolio includes LaWS development and upgrades providing a quick reaction capability for the fleet with an affordable SSL weapon prototype. This capability provides Navy ships a method for Sailors to easily defeat small boat threats and aerial targets without using bulletsSSLs utilize specific solid chemicals that when combined with a light source (often light-emitting diodes), amplify and focus light at long range. For a laser weapon system, the resulting light and heat transmitted to a target causes the failure of structures. SSLs are typically categorized into one of two classes – either slab-type or fiber-type. Slab lasers use small centimeter-sized prismatic or rectangular geometries, whereas fiber lasers are thin rods about the diameter of a human hair and many meters long. In either type, an SSL weapon utilizes ship’s electricity to power the laser, and then the resulting light is directed by mirrors through an external, aimable beam director, where a complex optic system focuses the laser light onto targets.
Lasers have the capability for speed-of-light engagements, with very precise, real-time targeting and battle damage assessments. Lasers can provide measured weapon effects, matched with extremely deep magazine capacities to defend against multiple, simultaneous arriving threats potentially posed against Naval surface forces: armed, unarmed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or lethal unmanned aerial vehicles; light aircraft; small boats; asymmetric surface targets; or small diameter rockets and missiles. The prototypes will also examine the utility for precision discrimination of targets, and enhancement in aiming of existing guns and missiles.
4/08/2013 3:00pm, #2
4/08/2013 3:25pm, #3
4/08/2013 4:06pm, #4
Great, so now the US Navy has Railguns AND Laser cannons.
4/08/2013 4:46pm, #5
They can build some pretty snazzy missile defense systems with a laser weapon. I'm thinking the North Korean threat has ramped up this weapon system's development because it's a perfect defense. Originally these systems were slated to be shipboard by 2016 and that's been pushed up to 2014.
Missile based shield systems are slow and have to travel to the target and intercept...these chemical lasers don't have that problem.
IF you parked one, say, on a few ships near enough North Korea, the Navy could theoretically lase every missile or rocket as it was launched, and at a rate of dozens per minute per ship because both targeting and projectile time are nearly instantaneous. In the case of North vs South Korea that kind of rapid response time would be a huge game change.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 4/08/2013 4:49pm at .
4/08/2013 5:36pm, #6
Did we stop work on that?
IIRC that wasn't a solid state laser though. I imagine this newer tech is a lot more ecconomical.
4/08/2013 5:46pm, #7
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Functional lasers like this have me wondering about the use of such weapons to destroy in a way that could look like an accident. For example, targeting a launching satellite or jet near the exhaust section to cause an explosion during a time when heat and unpredictability are already high.
4/08/2013 6:04pm, #8
4/08/2013 7:18pm, #9
4/08/2013 7:22pm, #10
Remember, if they have released official video, the next generation is already working.