US Navy Readies 'Laser Attack' Weapon In 2014

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare' started by Devil Soul, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Devil Soul

    Devil Soul ELITE MEMBER

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    US Navy Readies 'Laser Attack' Weapon In 2014
    WASHINGTON, April 9, 2013 (AFP) -The US Navy said it is preparing to roll out a sea-based laser weapon capable of disabling small enemy vessels and shooting down surveillance drones.
    The laser system will be deployed in 2014, two years ahead of schedule, aboard the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship retrofitted as a waterborne staging base, the Navy said Monday.
    Chief of Naval Research Admiral Matthew Klunder said the cost of one blast of "directed energy" could be less than $1.
    "Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability," he said in a US Navy statement.
    The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Sea Systems Command successfully tested high-energy lasers against a moving target ship and a remotely piloted drone.
    "The future is here," ONR official Peter Morrision said.
    "The solid-state laser is a big step forward to revolutionizing modern warfare with directed energy, just as gunpowder did in the era of knives and swords."
    The laser runs on electricity, so the weapon "can be fired as long as there is power," and is a lot safer than carrying explosives aboard ships.
    The Navy released a video of a laser test and posted it at .
    The New York Times, which said the USS Ponce would deploy to the Gulf, noted the Pentagon had a "long history of grossly inflating" claims for experimental weapons.
    Navy officials had acknowledged that the prototype laser was not yet strong enough to bring down a jet fighter or a missile, although those remained the long-term targets, The Times reported.
    A March 14 report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Center said the new weapon was a potential game-changer in naval warfare.
    "Compared to existing ship self-defense systems, such as missiles and guns, lasers could provide Navy surface ships with a more cost effective means of countering certain surface, air, and ballistic missile targets," the report read.
    Equipping Navy ships with lasers "could lead to changes in naval tactics, ship design and procurement plans for ship-based weapons, bringing about a technological shift for the Navy - a ‘game changer' - comparable to the advent of shipboard missiles in the 1950s," it added.
     
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  2. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    By Courtney Kube, NBC News
    The U.S. Navy announced Monday that it is preparing to deploy a new weapon that can disable a hostile boat and even destroy a surveillance drone overhead — all without dispensing any expensive ammunition.

    The Navy released this video showing its new laser weapons system during an exercise at sea. The laser is capable of destroying planes, drones and boats.
    It is the Navy's Laser Weapons System (LaWS), a laser mounted on a ship that is so strong it can ignite a drone, sending it crashing and burning to earth in mere moments.
    The USS Ponce, an amphibious transport docking ship, will be the first Navy vessel to deploy with the LaWS, officials announced Monday.
    The new laser will be installed on the Ponce over the next year and operational in summer 2014. The Ponce is now based in the Fifth Fleet area, which covers the Persian Gulf and the Horn of Africa.
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    The LaWS will initially be used to combat small boats that pose a threat to larger U.S. Navy vessels — much like the small Iranian fast boats that pester U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.
    The Navy plans to use the laser to combat missiles and other threats from the air, to ward off threatening ships and to stop other foreign threats. Eventually the system will be able to stop an incoming missile.
    While making the announcement in Maryland today, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert praised the LaWS ability to take out targets at a tiny fraction of the cost of other conventional weapons.
    He claimed that the LaWS can shoot down a small drone for about $1 worth of electricity and, once the laser is operational, it should be able to replace a Gatling gun, whose rounds can cost several thousand dollars each.
    A defense official also stressed that the laser will not have full capability to take down a larger target for a decade or so.
    Despite speculation the laser is deploying to the Fifth Fleet to warn Iran, a U.S. military official says that the real reason it's going to that region is that it is "the hardest environment" the Navy has available to test the new system.
    Navy unveils powerful ship-mounted laser weapon - U.S. News
     
  3. GR!FF!N

    GR!FF!N ELITE MEMBER

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    tested on drone with Flying Wing structure..what kind of drone is it??and any info on strength of Laser and range??looks like this time,it worked for few Kms..USA is also developing missile shield based on aircraft with this kind of lasers..
     
  4. Neptune

    Neptune SENIOR MEMBER

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    possibly a droned F-4E. Cauz it's the standart drone of the US when it comes to targeting.
     
  5. Penguin

    Penguin PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Oh, please. Not anything remotely like an F-4E

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Esc8781

    Esc8781 FULL MEMBER

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    @Neptune Nope the drone is called the BQM-147A.

    [​IMG]

    It's a small drone.
     
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  7. Neptune

    Neptune SENIOR MEMBER

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    thank you. But I heard that remote controlled Phantoms were also used as targeting drones, am I right buddy?

    lol, I didn't get that :) What was that supposed to mean? :D
     
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  8. Audio

    Audio SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Esc8781

    Esc8781 FULL MEMBER

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    Yeah, sad ain't it? At Tyndall AFB I saw the QF-4 and the QF-16.
     
  10. Neptune

    Neptune SENIOR MEMBER

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    what? sad? This is not sad, this is a disaster while we have +308 manned Vipers, you guys made QF-16, where does Pentagon use it? :)
     
  11. Esc8781

    Esc8781 FULL MEMBER

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    The sad part is that we are kinda destroying the USAF's history in these birds. Some of the F-4s were from Vietnam, but the good part is that we will know what countermeasures the enemy can put up and the abilities of our missiles.
     
  12. Neptune

    Neptune SENIOR MEMBER

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    yeah, I think it'd be the best way to test new weapons, missiles, equipment. Of course it's the best way of testing weapons, against real aircraft. But If I were the Pentagon, I'd have sold them out to an arabic country with a very very high price (unless a dozen times higher than the price), and transfer the money to DARPA, R&D and of course my offshore account at Cayman Islands, lol :D
     
  13. Esc8781

    Esc8781 FULL MEMBER

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    Actually these RPVs has one of the most advanced jammers fitted unto 'em. The QF-16 would super-agile against the missiles. We will understand how to hunt highly maneuverable aircraft. Cheers.
     
  14. mrPERFECT

    mrPERFECT FULL MEMBER

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    well Indians are also ahead in this project....
     
  15. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    Drones, not UAVs, are useful in the EARLY testing phases of airborne weapons development. These drones are usually slightly better than powered kites, to put it simplistically. They are useful in providing targeting tests for sensor development, such as the simple question: Can the sensor pick up any body at all?

    UAVs, like the QF-4 and QF-16, are for later phases where the sensor have been refined and now development is about testing the sensor against true battlefield adversaries. Or as true as we can get by using a deployed platform.

    If the test is destructive, such as live weapons firing, then a deployed platform is always preferred because now there are hard data regarding the effectiveness of the weapon in attempting to destroy a body.

    [​IMG]

    I know that UH tail number 014. I would much rather it serve a useful purpose like being a test UAV, even destructively, than to be ignominiously scrapped thus.