Skip to comments.One lucky destroyer crew will officially be the first to rock the Navy's newest laser weapon
Posted on 06/03/2019 1:00:01 AM PDT by Windflier
The Pearl Harbor-based USS Preble will be the first destroyer to be equipped with a high-energy laser to counter surface craft and unmanned aerial systems, according to a published report, with the Navy planning to one day use the powerful light beams to defend against Chinese or Russian cruise missiles.
Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, the Navy's director of surface warfare, told Defense News that the Preble will be outfitted in 2021 with the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical- dazzler With Surveillance system, or HELIOS.
"We are making the decision to put the laser on our (destroyers)," Boxall said. "It's going to start with Preble in 2021, and when we do that, that will now be her close-in weapon that we now continue to upgrade," according to Defense News.
The Phalanx close-in weapon system is used now to defend against airborne threats by spitting out a stream of projectiles from its automated 20 mm Gatling gun.
The Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $150 million contract in 2018, with options worth up to $943 million, for the development of two high-power laser systems for testing on a destroyer and on land.
With the HELIOS system, Lockheed Martin said it will "help the Navy take a major step forward in its goal to field a laser weapon system aboard surface ships."
The Congressional Research Service said in a May report that the Navy is developing three new ship-based weapons: solid-state lasers, an electromagnetic railgun and a gun-launched guided projectile that "could substantially improve" the ability of Navy surface ships to defend against surface craft, unmanned aerial vehicles and, eventually, anti-ship cruise missiles.
"Any one of these new weapons, if successfully developed and deployed, might be regarded as a 'game changer' for defending Navy surface ships" against enemy missiles, the report states.
The image is an artist’s conception.
Another major reason President Trump MUST WIN reelection!
.....Like the Fazers in the original Star Trek!!
That thing could put your eye out!
I’d be interested in knowing the time on target to destroy.
I am going to guess that is going to remain classified, because revealing that would say much about the power and type of laser used.
But then again, classified material may not amount to a cup of warm spit in today’s world where people at high levels seem to be able to ignore at will with no repercussions.
At least it’s not a rainbow.
This has been a long time coming.
DOD RDT&E has been working on the concept from the middle 1970’s. It is no “breakthrough” but a long, hard, incremental set of improvements over decades that got us to this point.
I first supported a test where a laser shot down a helicopter (proof of concept) in 1976.
So now we have to encase missiles and aircraft with mirrors? Because the enemies will have these soon enough.
All kidding aside, this is very cool. Or hot...
Weve come a long way from throwing rocks at each other.
This represents the ultimate in high velocity, low mass projectiles.
I wouldn’t want to be on the ship that is the target for one of those Iranian Sunburns with only this laser to intercept the missile.
Mirrored armor doesn’t actually work against high powered lasers in atmosphere.
Well Im impressed that the laser is able to take out a drone. But im Really interested with how good it is at taking out waves of Anti-Ship missiles.
Ill celebrate after I see a successful defense against those missiles.
I was joking. I am sure many of us have spent time polishing stuff that doesnt stop bullets!
Can it intercept 10 Sunburns?
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