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Thread: US Navy Laser Weapon

  1. #1
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    Default US Navy Laser Weapon

    Kind of interesting- there is a video towards the bottom
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...ser-downs-uavs


  2. #2
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    Cool

    Even with 32 kw of power, it still had to be trained on the target for many seconds to be effective.

    Scotty! We need more power!

    Meh - When they can deliver a megawatt on-target, I'll be impressed. Until then, it would seem that the standard Phalanx system can do the job faster. (So long as you've got enough 20 mm ammo to feed the thing, that is.)

    Adam

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    Until then, it would seem that the standard Phalanx system can do the job faster. Adam
    I made 2 trips to the Persian Gulf on the USS Nimitz, and saw one of these shoot down a drone while I was hanging out in the catwalk- they are downright scary! And deafening! The rate of fire is so fast it sound like a "burp" rather than a machine gun ratta-tat-tat, and it shoots out a fireball like a flamethrower. We called 'em R2D2's. Navy pilots have nerves of steel as it is, but the one flying the A6 that was towing the drone on a tether must have had some serious faith in the targering system- either that, or he lost the coin toss. I also saw 'em launch a few Sea Sparrows- those are jaw-dropping in person too.
    -Mike


  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    I've heard people describe the sound of a Phalanx CWIS firing as "God unzipping his fly". But yeah, way too fast to hear individual rounds going off. Just a hellaciously loud, buzzing roar...

    I've read accounts of tests performed with the Phalanx (and specifically, with it's sum-millimeter radar) where the target drone was destroyed and the system began tracking the tow cable! And indeed, Wikepedia has details of at least one case where the towing aircraft was mistakenly targeted (and destroyed). Oops...

    Awesome machine, it is...

    Adam

  5. #5
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    and they will begin producing missiles with a golden catadioptric body...

  6. #6
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    If they can advance the laser technology to the point where they can deliver megawatt-level power to the target, it won't matter how shiny the target is. The target is traveling through the air at high velocity; that alone will introduce enough imperfection in the surface such that a beam of sufficient power will destroy it. (When was the last time you saw a laser mirror that was rated for even 100 watts of power, let alone a megawatt?)

    Re-entry vehicles from a ballistic missile are even easier to kill, since after re-entry even the best mirrored surface will be severely pock-marked due to atmospheric heating. The problem is that they're moving so fast you don't have much time to target them.

    Adam

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