Anti-aircraft laser unveiled at Farnborough Airshow

Discussion in 'Americas' started by EagleOne, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

    May 10, 2010
    Likes Received:
    anti-aircraft energy laser
    artistic impression
    US firm Raytheon has unveiled its anti-aircraft laser at the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire.

    The Laser Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) can either be used on its own or alongside a gunnery system.

    In May, the laser was used to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a series of tests.

    Raytheon said the solid state fibre laser produces a 50 kilowatt beam and can be used against UAV, mortar, rockets and small surface ships.

    The idea of using lasers as weapons has been around almost as long as the laser itself, invented in 1960.

    Record power for military laser
    'Laser jumbo' testing moves ahead
    Initially, the systems were chemical lasers, which get their power from a chemical reaction. They are very large pieces of equipment and are very fuel hungry, requiring a significant quantity of chemicals to drive them. The fuel is frequently toxic, requiring operators to don protective clothing.

    Solid state lasers, in contrast, consist of a glass or ceramic material to generate a laser beam.

    They are smaller, more compact and only require an energy input to generate the beam, although the energy required is still significant.

    However, until recently, solid state lasers were not able to reach the same power levels as chemical lasers and so were not deemed suitable for military use.
    'Last defence'

    Peter Felstead, editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, told BBC News that CIWS was the start of real world applications for military solid state lasers

    "OK, so a UAV isn't armoured, nor is it flying fast, but as you can see from the video they shot it down in flames," he said.

    "That's the very beginnings of what we can expect to see as firms miniaturise their technology and make them more effective."

    Speaking to BBC News, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president, Mike Booen, said that the tests, performed in a maritime environment, were a big step forward for laser technology.

    "We've tied this into Phalanx, the US Navy's anti-missile defence system that links a multiple barrelled 20mm Gatling gun to a radar guidance mechanism.

    "This system is already installed in many ships, both in the US and other Nato nations, such as the Royal Navy.
    lots to read & video of shoot out of drone @:[video][/video]
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  3. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 20, 2010
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    i saw something similar to this in the Transformers2 movie

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