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(Popular Mechanics)   U.S Navy really getting into the pew pew pew   (popularmechanics.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Arleigh Burke class destroyer, U.S. Navy, Laser, deployment of a new laser weapon, Missile, Destroyer, Jet engine, missile destroyers  
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1818 clicks; posted to STEM » on 10 Apr 2021 at 10:26 AM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-04-10 10:29:05 AM  
Vice admirals are already into it.

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2021-04-10 10:33:23 AM  
Subcontracting lasers from space from the Jews getting too expensive?
 
2021-04-10 11:02:21 AM  
"we will invest in laser defense so we can carry more offensive missiles" is a nonstarter argument
you always have to carry enough defensive missiles to survive one giant fleet engagement and allow you to withdraw for resupply.  which is about what every ship carries right now anyway b/c thats all they have magazine capacity for.

and even if you have lasers that could theoretically replace the defensive missiles 98% of the time you STILL have to have the same missile loadout - eg enough to survive one big engagement - in case the enemy forces that engagement in heavy fog or a pouring rainstorm when your lasers dont work.
 
2021-04-10 11:09:16 AM  
USS Ponce has had a laser aboard for several years, but it's a much more powerful weapon.

The US Army has two classes of Tactical High-Energy Laser in use for air and artillery defense. Oddly enough, these were developed as a joint project with Israel.

IIRC, the US Air Force is working on a version of THEL for air-superiority platforms such as the F-22. They also have two or three test models of strategic high-energy lasers for ballistic-missile defense and anti-satellite weapons.
 
2021-04-10 11:14:53 AM  
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2021-04-10 11:30:45 AM  

oopsboom: "we will invest in laser defense so we can carry more offensive missiles" is a nonstarter argument
you always have to carry enough defensive missiles to survive one giant fleet engagement and allow you to withdraw for resupply.  which is about what every ship carries right now anyway b/c thats all they have magazine capacity for.

and even if you have lasers that could theoretically replace the defensive missiles 98% of the time you STILL have to have the same missile loadout - eg enough to survive one big engagement - in case the enemy forces that engagement in heavy fog or a pouring rainstorm when your lasers dont work.


Using laser air/missile defenses does mean they can reduce magazine size for point-defense systems such as CIWS or RAM. IIRC, most of the VLS (Vertical Launch System) aboard DDGs and CGs is devoted to Sea Sparrows for medium-range air/missile defense. A sufficiently powerful THEL (especially one not emitting in the visible spectrum) would be able to interdict air/missile threats despite ambient weather conditions, but likely at reduced range due to to power losses. So the ships would likely still need defensive missiles, but not necessarily as many as they now carry. This allows wider latitude in selecting weapon load-out. The good news is- Sea Sparrow is a very versatile weapon system. It can be used offensively as well as defensively. Just ask the Turkish Navy about the Saratoga Turkey Shoot.

Increased use of high-energy laser systems would also have a logistical cost not mentioned in TFA. Everyone within a relatively short distance of the emitter and target for THEL-type systems is at high risk of severe eye damage. In addition to improving eye protection for sailors in exposed positions, improved protection for bridge windows will also be necessary for every platform in the Fleet.

Example: USS Neversail has a THEL, which is engaging a missile headed toward USS Biglargehuge. Neversail's THEL successfully engages the inbound missile, which explodes/goes off-course. In the meantime, everyone on Biglargehuge's bridge- and all of her look-outs- now have permanent retina damage from high-energy electromagnetic radiation spillover from the laser strike. So, Biglargehuge doesn't have a fiery hole in the ship, but they have to replace the bridge watchstanders and all the lookouts. This would also be a risk for other ships in the engagement area.
 
2021-04-10 11:31:44 AM  

Ambitwistor: [static.tvtropes.org image 330x281]


God I loved that show as a kid. I need to rewatch it one of these days to see if it holds up to my childhood memories.
 
2021-04-10 11:57:52 AM  
What about rail guns? Seems like a more practical weapon. A few years ago they were talking about mounting one on a ship.
 
2021-04-10 12:13:41 PM  
Headline has me thinking it was ballistic stink bombs.
 
2021-04-10 1:24:29 PM  
How long is laser-dazzling going to work?  Isn't it a matter of putting on lens filters that are opaque to the common laser frequencies and just getting your imagery with a bit of a colour correction required?

I mean, if the required tech didn't already exist in pretty much every lab with a laser, I'd say 'sure', but given that the counter is so readily available it seems kind of pointless to spend so much on a nonlethal system that is so trivial to counter.
 
2021-04-10 1:43:34 PM  

wax_on: What about rail guns? Seems like a more practical weapon. A few years ago they were talking about mounting one on a ship.


Lasers are a defensive weapon, they're to shoot down incoming missiles, drones, or planes. They're hoping it will be the answer to the drone swarm tactics we've been seeing.
 
2021-04-10 2:11:31 PM  

karl2025: What about rail guns? Seems like a more practical weapon.


Though the projectiles are impressively fast, they are still physical projectiles.  Which means you need to have a supply of them.  A good laser ought to keep going as long as your reactor is running, and in any Earth-bound conflict the time to target is effectively zero.
 
2021-04-10 2:27:00 PM  

Wenchmaster: Using laser air/missile defenses does mean they can reduce magazine size for point-defense systems such as CIWS or RAM. IIRC, most of the VLS (Vertical Launch System) aboard DDGs and CGs is devoted to Sea Sparrows for medium-range air/missile defense. A sufficiently powerful THEL (especially one not emitting in the visible spectrum) would be able to interdict air/missile threats despite ambient weather conditions, but likely at reduced range due to to power losses. So the ships would likely still need defensive missiles, but not necessarily as many as they now carry. This allows wider latitude in selecting weapon load-out. The good news is- Sea Sparrow is a very versatile weapon system. It can be used offensively as well as defensively. Just ask the Turkish Navy about the Saratoga Turkey Shoot.


agreed on potentially freeing up multirole missiles for offensive use.
not so sure on the other.  There are studies out there from previous generations of laser weapons showing that in "storm" conditions the effective range of a laser weapon like HELIOS is cut by over 50% due to air turbulence and moisture (humidity and flashed raindrops) lensing the beam.  That's brutal for something working as a CIWS defense.
 
2021-04-10 2:35:01 PM  

Unsung_Hero: karl2025: What about rail guns? Seems like a more practical weapon.

Though the projectiles are impressively fast, they are still physical projectiles.  Which means you need to have a supply of them.  A good laser ought to keep going as long as your reactor is running, and in any Earth-bound conflict the time to target is effectively zero.


you can carry a shiat ton of projectiles.  most magazine space is used for propellant not projectiles.  whether its blatantly obvious or or not just depends how the ammo is packaged but thats always the case.
the trick with railguns is and always has been making one where you don't have to carry a magazine of replacement GUN BARRELS to swap out every few shots. heh.
 
2021-04-10 3:36:37 PM  
Lasers on Navy ships are one of those things that's always juuuuuuuust being tested, and weirdly enough seems to fade for a bit before coming back with another name.

Maybe I'm totally wrong and they'll be the next great thing, but for missiles a soft kill (Chaff, Nulka, etc.) has routinely beaten out hard kill methods like CIWS for efficacy.  From what I remember reading the main draw of a laser weapon is the lack of reload required.
 
2021-04-10 3:51:57 PM  

wax_on: What about rail guns? Seems like a more practical weapon. A few years ago they were talking about mounting one on a ship.


Railguns are fine offensively.  Defensively, the reloading time, even automated, is basically showing your asshole to batman.
 
2021-04-10 4:18:51 PM  

MythDragon: Subcontracting lasers from space from the Jews getting too expensive?


The public pays for all the farting around in space and for the military.

The private stock owners make all the profits.


Murca
 
2021-04-10 5:00:38 PM  
The Navy needs them to compete with the sharks. You know the ones.
 
2021-04-10 6:14:45 PM  
The U.S. Navy is installing laser weapon systems on nine destroyers as part of an evaluation of the weapons' potential.
Eight of the lasers are lower power weapons designed to dazzle or blind enemy sensors and drones.

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