US Army and Navy to increase use of laser weapons 12606172

Defense & Security News - United States
 
U.S. Army and Navy to increase number of laser weapons mounted on combat vehicles.
The U.S. Army and Navy are increasingly incorporating laser weapons on a limited number of platforms and training exercises, according to Matthew Ketner, branch chief of the High Energy Laser Controls and Integration Directorate at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Virginia.
     
The U.S. Army and Navy are increasingly incorporating laser weapons on a limited number of platforms and training exercises, according to Matthew Ketner, branch chief of the High Energy Laser Controls and Integration Directorate at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Virginia.
Lockheed Martin laser weapon monted on Oshkosh truck.
     
Ketner spoke on these emerging laser technologies spoke last month during Lab Day at the Pentagon.
 

For its part, the Navy placed a 30-kilowatt laser onboard the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock ship, in 2014. The laser has been tested extensively and is authorized for defensive use.

The Army, meanwhile, is testing lasers to bring down unmanned aerial vehicles, according to Ketner.

In one training instance, a 10-kilowatt laser was placed on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck and tested during a Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in April 2016. The laser successfully shot down a number of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs.

In February and March of this year, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Command shot down a number of UAVs with a 5-kilowatt laser mounted on a Stryker during the Hard Kill Challenge at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
     
The U.S. Army and Navy are increasingly incorporating laser weapons on a limited number of platforms and training exercises, according to Matthew Ketner, branch chief of the High Energy Laser Controls and Integration Directorate at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Virginia.
5kW laser weapon mounted on Stryker 8x8 armoured vehicle
     
The U.S. Army recognizes that high energy lasers have the potential to be a low-cost, effective complement to kinetic energy, he said. Lasers have the potential to be more effective at addressing rocket, artillery, mortar, or RAM threats, as well as unmanned aircraft systems and cruise missiles.
 
 

On the plus side, lasers are silent and invisible to the human eye and are thus hard to detect by the enemy, Ketner said.

Also, a laser has a near-perfectly straight trajectory, unlike the arc of an artillery round, which allows the laser to be much more accurate in finding its target.
 

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.