Experimental German Lasers Destroy Drones, Simulated Mortars
January 8, 2013 8:36 AM
German laser system is actually two lasers
A German company called Rheinmetall Defense recently conducted a test on its 50 kW high-energy laser at the company's proving grounds in Switzerland. The company says that its laser system passed all tests with flying colors.
The system consists of a pair of lasers mounted on Revolver Gun air defense turrets -- one of the lasers has 30 kW of power and the other supplies 20 kW of power. The laser system uses Beam Superimposing Technology to combine the two lasers into single higher intensity beam. The laser was tested on numerous targets including a 15 mm thick steel girder that it was able to slice from a distance of 1 km.
The second test for the laser system was conducted at a distance of 2 km and the system was able to shoot down drones as they nosedived towards the ground at 15 meters per second. The radar system component of the laser was able to track the drones during their descent from up to 3 km away from the laser.
The final test, and possibly the most impressive feat the laser accomplished during testing, was to show its ability to track and destroy a very small ballistic target. The laser system was able to detect and the target an 82 mm steel ball that was traveling at 50 meters per second and destroy it. The 82 mm diameter steel ball was meant to simulate an incoming mortar round.
The defense company also notes that the proving grounds in Switzerland where the tests were conducted offered weather that was less than ideal for laser system operation. The company says that the laser functioned in ice, rain, snow, and extremely bright sunlight.
The U.S. military is also extensively testing
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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