The U.S. Navy has plans to test a new high-power laser being developed by Northrop Grumman for effectiveness against small ship targets. Military.com reports that the Navy has been looking for a weapon system to use against small craft like attack boats or even jet skis in crowded waters.
Northrop Grumman won a contract worth $98 million for the Maritime Laser Demonstration. The Navy expects a prototype laser system to be installed on a ship and ready for testing in the next 12 to 18 months. The Navy is reportedly looking for a laser system with a power output in the tens of kilowatts range. In March, Northrop Grumman was able to achieve a laser with a power output of 105 kilowatts in the lab.
Northrop Grumman's Dan Wildt said, "This is an opportunity to transition solid-state laser technology to the warfighter. We've been trying to make the transition for a long time, and we see the Navy being very serious about understanding this capability."
Once the prototype laser system is fitted to a ship the system will be tested against a remotely controlled small boat in a representative at-sea environment. The laser system uses technology from the Joint High Power Solid-State Laser (JHPSSL) program.
The laser system is appealing to the Navy because it offers the ability to provide a graduated response to a threat. The weapon system will be able to shine a low-power green laser on a target as a warning to stay away from a ship. If the warning isn’t effective, the high-power laser could then be used to damage the boats hull or destroy the boats engine.
One thing that still has to be worked out with the laser system is how it will perform in an at-sea environment when there is aerosol in the air that could scatter the laser beam. Wildt says, "The Navy wants to take this to sea to see how it operates and gather the data to make a real transition decision."
quote: You may have missed the "105 kW" bit about that laser. I'm no physicist, but that is, roughly speaking, a massive amount of energy.
quote: Also, LASERS are great, except when it's foggy, moist, or there's lots of water in the air, eg: spray from a boat's bow... So basically, LASERs suck at sea and in the clouds. Save your LASERs for space people.
quote: Put yourself first mentality
quote: Stealing from the producers and giving to the least motivated of us will only work until the producers are bled dry.
quote: Talking smack about my president won't get you anywhere. Obama will be the best president this nation ever had . I am already amazed at his competence. Who of all of us would even bother to try to repair the nation from the deliberate and hateful ruining that was perpetrated upon it by the posse that just left the office to go back to the saloons from whence they came? Yet Obama is stepping up to the challenge. For Mr. Obama I liken what he has received to someone buying something and receiving something totally trashed. Instead of crying or complaining, though, President Obama's integrity shows through by getting in there and valiantly starting the repair process.
quote: a stationary battleship