US Navy brings down drone with all-electric laser weapon for first time

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midian182

Posts: 8,317   +103
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What just happened? In what could be viewed as a sign of the often frighteningly uncertain times we live in, the US navy has shot down a drone using an all-electric laser for the first time. The military branch's Layered Laser Defense (LLD) took down the machine, which was representing a subsonic cruise missile, during tests in February this year.

The LLD weapon, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, is able to take out unmanned aerial systems, fast attack boats, and, using its high-resolution telescope, in-bound air threats.

February's tests were carried out by the Office of Naval Research at the US Army's High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The LLD was tested against a wide range of targets, including unmanned fixed-winged aerial vehicles and quadcopters as well as the high-speed drones that acted as subsonic cruise missile replacements.

The Navy says that laser weapons have several advantages. In addition to identifying and assessing the damage they inflict on targets, lasers can disable sensors or dazzle forces without blinding them. And being all-electric, they require no explosives or propellants, making them safer. Moreover, as long as power is available from the ship carrying them, all-electric lasers offer theoretically unlimited ammo at a cost of around $1 per shot, writes New Atlas.

"The Navy performed similar tests during the 1980s but with chemical-based laser technologies that presented significant logistics barriers for fielding in an operational environment," said Dr. Frank Peterkin, ONR's directed energy portfolio manager. "And, ultimately, those types of lasers did not transition to the fleet or any other service."

While there are currently no plans to put the LLD into action, the US Army intends to field directed energy weapons as part of its short-range defense systems (SHORAD) as early as this year, reports Interesting Engineering.

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psycros

Posts: 4,455   +6,641
Reagan said it best - wish I could find the actual quote, but this is very close: Who could do more damage? Two camps armed with swords, or two camps armed with shields? That President (the kind we can only dream of having once again) actually mused that if the US did perfect an anti-missile defense we might consider sharing it with the Russians. Personally I'd never do that because the free world should always have the upper hand militarily. Failing in that regard was the main reason we got a second world war so soon after the first.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,837   +3,096
TechSpot Elite
And being all-electric, they require no explosives or propellants
But the right dinkers want everyone to think the laser won't have the range of a propellant missile. And that even though it will be much cheaper, it will cost more......somehow. And how long will it take to recharge the laser? Days?
And certainly the power they are making will somehow be lost when using an effective weapon, right? Now we ask what about the problem I'm about to make up concerning the laser most certainly will catch fire, in midair.
Last, remember, as well as it works and as economical as it is, people don't want lasers, they want tubes and gunpowder making shiny asplosions!

iu


That President (the kind we can only dream of having once again)
Yeah that would be called a nightmare
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
Reagan said it best - wish I could find the actual quote, but this is very close: Who could do more damage? Two camps armed with swords, or two camps armed with shields? That President (the kind we can only dream of having once again) actually mused that if the US did perfect an anti-missile defense we might consider sharing it with the Russians. Personally I'd never do that because the free world should always have the upper hand militarily. Failing in that regard was the main reason we got a second world war so soon after the first.
Wow... you know times must be bad if anyone is recalling the "glory days" of Reagan... his trickle-down economics are the main reason your country is in the shambles its been in for decades.

As for your nonsense about shields... assuming this actually worked (I think it's about as useful as sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads), all it would do is A) use your "sword" as well (after all, they aren't mutually exclusive), B) force other countries to come up with better "swords" that will bypass this "shield"... quickly making this multi-billion dollar monstrosity obsolete.

Oh... and the main reason for the Second World War? Because the "allies" decided to punish Germany for WWI instead of helping them (and everyone else) rebuild - fostering huge (and partially justified) resentment in Germany against the rest of the world... The allies learned from this after WW2 and spent billions rebuilding Germany and Japan... hence no WW3... at least... no WW3 yet...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,255   +7,610
I hear the plan is to fix these devices to the heads of sharks to create a complete coastal defense system... not to mention they'd have sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads!!

Well, one problem with that is it would take substantially more power for the laser light to go through water.
At least they aren't attaching them to libtards, then we'd truly be in trouble.
Ah, more fuel for MTG's fires. ;)
But the right dinkers want everyone to think the laser won't have the range of a propellant missile. And that even though it will be much cheaper, it will cost more......somehow. And how long will it take to recharge the laser? Days?
And certainly the power they are making will somehow be lost when using an effective weapon, right? Now we ask what about the problem I'm about to make up concerning the laser most certainly will catch fire, in midair.
Last, remember, as well as it works and as economical as it is, people don't want lasers, they want tubes and gunpowder making shiny asplosions!
Definitely valid concerns. ūü§£
Reagan said it best - wish I could find the actual quote, but this is very close: Who could do more damage? Two camps armed with swords, or two camps armed with shields? That President (the kind we can only dream of having once again) actually mused that if the US did perfect an anti-missile defense we might consider sharing it with the Russians. Personally I'd never do that because the free world should always have the upper hand militarily. Failing in that regard was the main reason we got a second world war so soon after the first.
Its all science that is out there in the real world. Just like the US is "developing" hypersonic missles (that Putie is bandying around like a cave-man's club), pretty much any country with enough will and resources could develop something like this. Hint: look up "laser phase conjugation" and pretty much even you can get the optical fibers that actually produce the laser emission, and on which I suspect that this weapon is based, literally from mail order houses on the net.

Given the direction that current politics is going, having a Reagan again would be an improvement over Trump butt lickers, IMO.

I wonder why so many admire Reagan so much? IMO, his mystique in conservative circles is much like the mystique that surrounds Musky, or Bezos - lots of everything but true substance. At least Reagan was not a wannabe dictator.
 

eforce

Posts: 1,045   +1,507
I believe they'd be the ones asking why the US is spending billions of dollars for this...
Turns out those sorts really want to military intervene in Ukraine, it's almost like they support the 'current thing' regardless of the consequences in order to 'fit in'.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
Turns out those sorts really want to military intervene in Ukraine, it's almost like they support the 'current thing' regardless of the consequences in order to 'fit in'.
While I'm sure many fit your slanted world view, others simply see Russia as a threat too large to ignore... If they are allowed to simply swallow up any nation they want, when does it end?

I believe Neville Chamberlain espoused your world view when Hitler annexed the Sudetenland... I'll leave it to you to look up the consequences of that action...
 

eforce

Posts: 1,045   +1,507
While I'm sure many fit your slanted world view, others simply see Russia as a threat too large to ignore... If they are allowed to simply swallow up any nation they want, when does it end?

I believe Neville Chamberlain espoused your world view when Hitler annexed the Sudetenland... I'll leave it to you to look up the consequences of that action...
Putin would say NATO creeping up on his border mirrors the Axis buildup pre-invasion 1941.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,837   +3,096
TechSpot Elite
Putin would say NATO creeping up on his border mirrors the Axis buildup pre-invasion 1941.
And the civilized world would point out to the less sharp of the planet that NATO has not started anything they became involved in. The closest they could be accused of was when they helped us with the capture of Bin Laden.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,255   +7,610
I thought they fired that laser at something forever ago? Did I miss something?
There was some news of this type of laser several years ago. Some of that news included a similar one being mounted on a Humvee and shooting down an artillery round (pretty impressive, IMO.) What is new about this, IDK.

EDIT: On actually reading that article, ;) , the laser that shot down the round was a chemical laser. I thought, though, have been stories of other "all electric" lasers (probably phase-conjugated fiber lasers) doing feats similar to this. In this article, it explains some of the drawbacks of chemical lasers.

EDIT 2: I knew I had seen news on this type of laser many years ago - https://optics.org/news/5/8/19

And also https://www.cnet.com/science/laser-equipped-humvee-pops-and-fizzles-ieds/ - definitely an all-electric laser in the news in 2007.
 
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eforce

Posts: 1,045   +1,507
Putin would be a lying b@stard though... and a dictator who has made BILLIONS on the backs of his people yet leaving them living worse than citizens of any other "western" nation.
One only need look at a map of NATO members from 1945 until present.
 

Vanderkaum037

Posts: 43   +49
Reagan said it best - wish I could find the actual quote, but this is very close: Who could do more damage? Two camps armed with swords, or two camps armed with shields? That President (the kind we can only dream of having once again) actually mused that if the US did perfect an anti-missile defense we might consider sharing it with the Russians. Personally I'd never do that because the free world should always have the upper hand militarily. Failing in that regard was the main reason we got a second world war so soon after the first.

Under the logic of mutually-assured destruction, and assuming rational actors, you take the camps armed with swords every day, because the second one of them has a shield he will feel safe attacking and then that is the end of human life on this planet.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 302   +209
There was some news of this type of laser several years ago. Some of that news included a similar one being mounted on a Humvee and shooting down an artillery round (pretty impressive, IMO.) What is new about this, IDK.

EDIT: On actually reading that article, ;) , the laser that shot down the round was a chemical laser. I thought, though, have been stories of other "all electric" lasers (probably phase-conjugated fiber lasers) doing feats similar to this. In this article, it explains some of the drawbacks of chemical lasers.

EDIT 2: I knew I had seen news on this type of laser many years ago - https://optics.org/news/5/8/19

And also https://www.cnet.com/science/laser-equipped-humvee-pops-and-fizzles-ieds/ - definitely an all-electric laser in the news in 2007.
I found it!


This happened in May of 2020.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
One only need look at a map of NATO members from 1945 until present.
To show that Russia has been a dangerous enemy since 1945? Yes, agreed...

To show anything else? Nope...

Ask anyone who has lived in Russia AND the "west" and, assuming Putin isn't holding their family hostage, they will tell you how wonderful Russia was....

I wonder if there are stats on the amount of people who immigrate TO Russia as opposed to FROM Russia...
 

eforce

Posts: 1,045   +1,507
To show that Russia has been a dangerous enemy since 1945? Yes, agreed...

To show anything else? Nope...

Ask anyone who has lived in Russia AND the "west" and, assuming Putin isn't holding their family hostage, they will tell you how wonderful Russia was....

I wonder if there are stats on the amount of people who immigrate TO Russia as opposed to FROM Russia...
That's largely because the West is living on borrowed money which creates a false sense of utopia, Russia does also still suffer from a lot of corruption brought about by the Soviet regime which the Germans in WW1 foisted upon them.
 
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