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Laser warfare breakthrough

CAPSLOCKSTUCK

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#1
Lockheed Martin has completed the design, development and demonstration of a radical 60 kW laser weapon for the U.S. Army.

In testing earlier this month, the Lockheed Martin laser produced a single beam of 58 kW, representing a world record for a laser of this type.

Lockheed Martin's announcement

The Lockheed Martin laser system is now being shipped to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Alabama for more testing.


Lockheed Martin's laser is a beam combined fiber laser, meaning it brings together individual lasers, generated through fiber optics, to generate a single, intense laser beam.

This allows for a scalable laser system that can be made more powerful by adding more fiber laser subunits.

The laser is based on a design developed under the Department of Defense's Robust Electric Laser Initiative Program, and further developed through investments by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army into a 60kW-class system.





The laser system also proved to be highly efficient in testing, capable of translating more than 43 percent of the electricity that powered it directly into the actual laser beam it emitted.


The US Army is planning to deploy the first laser weapons in 2023, it has been revealed previously.

Mary J. Miller, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, told the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities 'I believe we're very close,' when asked how close the Army is to developing offensive and defensive directed-energy weapons.

She said the programmes would be extensively tested as the Army wants to understand the lasers' full capabilities 'before we offer it to a Soldier.'


https://phys.org/news/2017-03-lockheed-martin-world-record-setting-60kw.html
 
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#2
I presume the truck is one big batterie....wonder how many shots it can do on one "charge"
 
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#3
I have a suitable defence system...

 
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#4
A tinfoil wrapped boat.... Nice :roll:
 
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#6
I presume the truck is one big batterie....wonder how many shots it can do on one "charge"
Not many, but that's a fairly common issue in military equipment. :)
If, for example, this would be used to shot down ballistic missiles or drones (like the system developed in Israel), then it would compete with e.g. the ubiquitous Patriot, which houses just 4 projectiles in a larger form factor (below).

As for electricity: you could just plug such a truck to a high-voltage source (power lines or railway electrification) and "reload" in a matter of hours.
Moreover, you could power this using a small modular reactor - they already exist, it's just a matter of making them more mobile (a few companies/countries are already working on it).

I don't think lasers are a good choice for e.g. frying infantry, when longer operation would be needed. Traditional weapons are more effective.

Also, think about the issue of implementation and military-grade robustness of such system. It has to allow for some maintenance on the battlefield.
A fairly competent mechanic can fix a hand gun. An army engineer can calibrate a missile launcher etc.
But to do do pretty much anything with a laser weapon on the field (other than pushing the red button), you'd need a team of physics PhDs.

 

cdawall

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#7
They have been talking about this for years as a mod for the b1's one day it'll exist lol
 

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#8
One step closer...


I presume the truck is one big batterie....wonder how many shots it can do on one "charge"
Likely has a diesel-electric generator in it so it can recharge on the fly. That said, it probably has a limit to how many times it can fire before the batteries are too depleted to do damage.


That said, we're talking Lockheed here. There's a reason why they are vigorously supporting fusion power. They could literally have a fusion reactor on one truck and a dozen of these systems wired up to it. The collective power of them will probably be enough to shoot down aircraft and because the power is virtually limitless, it's a one machine army against any air threat.
 
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