While the US Navy unveiled a 30-kilowatt laser weapon in 2014, it now looks set to reveal an even more powerful weapon - a 150 kw'super laser'. And it won't be long until the weapon is unveiled, as a naval official has said that it will happen within the next 12 months. The weapon will be capable of dazzling the enemy, disabling their systems and, if needed, completely destroying vessels. While the 30 kilowatt laser proved successful, the US Navy was faced with challenges due to the low power of the weapon. While the US Navy has not specificed whether the laser could be used for any specific threats, director energy weapons could have a range of used.
The US Marines are developing a new laser weapon that can transmit voice messages at long range, or be turned up to deafen, dazzle or cause painful burns. The Scalable Compact Ultra-short Pulse Laser System (SCUPLS) will be a non-lethal weapon for crowd control or, according to US Navy documents. The weapon builds on previous prototypes developed by the Pentagon. To continue reading this premium article, subscribe for unlimited access. Existing subscribers, please log in with your email address to link your account access.
Russia says it is working on a new range of laser, plasma and electromagnetic weapons as well as hypersonic missiles which would be able to hit a US aircraft carrier before the Pentagon even realised it had been fired. The Kremlin's Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said yesterday: 'Coming next are hypersonic weapons, which require the use of principally new materials and control systems that operate in a completely different medium, in plasma.' A hypersonic weapon is a missile which travels at Mach 5 - five times the speed of sound - and it would enable the Russians to strike a target thousands of miles away within minutes. Tass reported that Mr Borisov told journalists at the Russian Academoy of Sciences that Moscow: 'We expect an especially serious breakthrough in the field of laser issues, electromagnetic weapons and so on.' Russia is not the only country working on laser weapons.
A laser so powerful it can melt through drones, helicopters, aircraft and incoming enemy missiles is to be tested by the U.S. Army. In a'laser-off' scheduled by a recent report, the 50-kilowatt laser weapon will be installed on four Stryker vehicles and tested on'targets' as part of the Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) mission. The deadly laser weapon has been in development for around six decades however the US Army is finally planning to deploy the first ones ready for combat in 2022, it has been revealed. The 50-kilowatt laser weapon will be installed on four Stryker vehicles and tested on'targets'. Using enough energy to power several homes the lasers are hoped to provide extra protection from aerial threats for on the ground armoured vehicles.
How do you defend yourself against laser weapons when they fire at the speed of light? BAE Systems has an idea. It's developing Laser Developed Atmopsheric Lens technology that, as the name suggests, uses lasers to temporarily ionize the atmosphere to create lens-like structures. If you're facing a laser attack, you just have to form a lens to serve as a refractive shield. The technology could protect both aircraft and land-based forces from deadly blasts, and it could fill other roles as well.