Once upon a time the soldiers were armed with primitive guns and machine guns, but now the military has tanks and even huge ships with laser installations. Recently the device, shooting at enemy targets with laser beams, it was found on a landing ship USS Portland (LPD 27). How quickly laser weapon capable of destroying the enemy objective, was shown in a video published by the naval forces of the United States. Reminiscent of stills from a science fiction movie like "Star wars" — the ship emits a powerful flow of energy and eyes destroys his enemy. And the enemy, the test of arms, served as an unmanned aerial vehicle.
Landing ship USS Portland (LPD 27) is a rather young ship, which began to be used by the naval forces of the United States in December 2017. One of its main combat elements is a laser system LWSD Mark 2 MOD 0 that emits a strong beam of light towards enemy targets, heats up to the temperature of the fire and destroys it.
USS Portland (LPD 27) from the very beginning was intended for the installation of laser weapons.
Laser weapons can be used in different ways: for direct destruction of enemy targets, blinding their tracking systems and sights, as well as remote activation of mines and other tasks. On the bow of the ship USS Portland (LPD 27) is set solid state laser intended for the direct destruction of enemy targets.
Any laser device consists of three parts: energy source, laser material and system of mirrors. As a source of energy can be a powerful lamp that occur during chemical reactions and light explosives. Laser material defines the length and other properties of the emitted beam is in the middle of the device and can be liquid, gas and solid matter like crystals and glass. The system of mirrors required to enhance the beam is, as you might already know, from multiple mirrors.
The first solid-state laser based on ruby.
Solid-state laser for the ship USS Portland (LPD 27) was developed by the naval forces of the United States, based on technologies Northrop Grumman. That ship will get the unit from this company, it became known in 2019. Then it was reported that the laser power will reach 100 kW — this despite the fact that many imposed on lasers tasks are performed at 25 – 50 kW. What kind of material was used to determine the length of the emitted beam, is unknown. But fighting abilities are impressive laser — beam has reached its goal in the form of unmanned aircraft and destroyed it in just a few seconds. Details of the test mission shared .
Many of the parts testing missions are kept secret. The size of the destroyed aircraft are unknown to us, as the distance from it to the ship. Even the location of test — closely guarded secret. We only know that the ship was in the Territory of Pacific ocean, near the Harbor of pearl Harbor.
According to the captain of the ship USS Portland (LPD 27) Kerry Sanders (Karrey Sanders), conducting similar tests, they receive valuable information about the effectiveness of combat lasers against potential threats. Conducted the test at least proved that the installation can be used for complete destruction . If the target will be more possible combat laser can at least disrupt their on-Board systems.
In General, laser weapons have a lot of positive qualities. The first thing to mention is the low cost of a single shot. One shot from a laser weapon installed on the USS Portland (LPD 27), it is worth one dollar. And now let's compare this cost to the price of the shell of the ship "Zumwalt" — in 2016, one shot could cost $ 2 million. But the fact is that the cost of the projectile is 800 thousand dollars, and this price must be added the costs for maintenance and other purposes. And the laser is just a beam of powerful light and even considering energy costs, it is inexpensive.
One shot from the ship "Zumwalt" can cost $ 2 million
Besides the price, laser weapons are attracted to the military because the beam will reach the target at the speed of light. When shooting you do not need to calculate the speed of the target and environmental conditions like wind at the enemy virtually no chance to evade a shot. In addition, the beam of light is not a heavy shell, so impact is no no.
But laser weapons also have disadvantages. Emitting powerful beams of light guns are difficult to use in the fog and in the presence of between vehicle and objective obstacle. Roughly speaking, the beam of light you can't throw through the wall like a grenade — a direct accessibility of the enemy object. Although, in theory, can reflect light from any mirror of the object and to hit the target.
Laserweapons developed by different countries since the 1960-ies. At the moment, due to the large size and weight of power sources can be installed only on large vehicles like ships.
In General, lasers are not only used for military purposes. Recently, my colleague, Alexander Bogdanov in detail how the laser can be powered unit, located on the moon. Recommended reading!
Frame from video published by the naval forces of the United States.
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