Military Laser Slices Steel 1km Away

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Military Laser Slices Steel 1km Away

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The 50kW laser is capable of performing even in adverse conditions like rain, ice, and snow.

German company Rheinmetall Defense has tested a 50kW military laser and proven that not only is it effective, but that lasers may be the future of Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) technology. Using two lasers superimposed over each other, one 20kW and the other 30kW, the machine is capable of producing a single 50kW beam that can cut through 15mm of steel a kilometer away. While that would be impressive in and of itself, the lasers are mounted on existing air defense turret technology, and can track moving targets using radar. To this end, the laser was used to shoot down several unmanned drones flying down at the surface at a speed of 50 meters a second - about 111 miles per hour. Finally, the weapon was used to track and destroy an 82mm - about three inch - steel ball as it hurtled towards the surface. The steel ball is about the size of a mortar round. The laser functions even in weather conditions that might be thought to interfere with lasers, such as ice, snow, rain, and bright sunlight, contrary to popular beliefs about laser weapons.

Rheinmetall Defense hopes to test a 100kW laser next year, saying in a press release that "nothing stands in the way of a future weapon system with a 100kW output." The company wants to pair a 50kW laser with 35mm automatic cannon, to see how the pairing fares against simply laser based defense systems. Rheinmetall also intends to mount their laser systems on mobile platforms, and have already chosen the TM-170 as their initial candidate. Rheinmetall defense is based in Düsseldorf, Germany. The tests were undertaken at the Ochsenboden proving ground in Switzerland.

Source: Singulary HUB

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Terrifyingly ambitious, if I do say so myself.

Starting to wonder how long it'll be before lasers obsolete gunpowder.

Now that is pretty awesome, but how well does it fare when it comes to rapidly switching targets? If it can pull that off, then perhaps these things can even stop MIRV warheads (not necessarily nukes, since nukes are not the exclusive users of that tech), and that would be truly awesome.

Cid SilverWing:
Terrifyingly ambitious, if I do say so myself.

Starting to wonder how long it'll be before lasers obsolete gunpowder.

I doubt gunpowder/projectile weapons will ever become 100% obsolete. Lasers are awesome, but there ain't nothing like a bolter round (which SOMEONE should be working on RIGHT NOW).

It's always the Germans, isn't it? Still, very fascinating. Conventional guns will never be taken out of production however. This stuff sounds incredibly expensive and even if a handheld weapon were devised, I bet it would be very limited. Probably using a powerpack on the back or something for energy. Who knows...

Now to find some sharks.

(please, by all that is good, have we finally arrived at the happy day when nobody catches the reference?)

Now all we need to do is attatch those lasers to some sharks.

EDIT: To Newton: No, because you just ninja'd me. Blast.

Quazimofo:

Cid SilverWing:
Terrifyingly ambitious, if I do say so myself.

Starting to wonder how long it'll be before lasers obsolete gunpowder.

I doubt gunpowder/projectile weapons will ever become 100% obsolete. Lasers are awesome, but there ain't nothing like a bolter round (which SOMEONE should be working on RIGHT NOW).

Look up Gryojet weapons, they're closest anyone's gotten to handheld rocket projectiles. And the AA-12 with frag shells is vaguely bolter esque

Silverwing, I don't see lasers overtaking conventional weapons, you can't carry the power source you need

Elijah Newton:
Now to find some sharks.

(please, by all that is good, have we finally arrived at the happy day when nobody catches the reference?)

You seriously expect to make a reference to sharks with lasers, and get away with it?

This all does make for some interesting problems though - it's not like you can hook up a 50kW laser to the mains.

i knew that the cancellation of the dragon tank was a lie.

Lt. Rocky:
Now all we need to do is attatch those lasers to some sharks.

EDIT: To Newton: No, because you just ninja'd me. Blast.

you could just say mount it on a horses head.

bow before the lasercorn!
image

Great! That saves one step for my villainous R&D department when I get around to actually constructing my island hideout.

Quazimofo:
Now that is pretty awesome, but how well does it fare when it comes to rapidly switching targets? If it can pull that off, then perhaps these things can even stop MIRV warheads (not necessarily nukes, since nukes are not the exclusive users of that tech), and that would be truly awesome.

It's a giant immobile box, I don't think it's switching targets that fast.

OT: You all think too small. This is the first step towards creating a Deathstar...

....This time though... We'll put some padding in front of the self destruct hole!

rhizhim:
i knew that the cancellation of the dragon tank was a lie.

Lt. Rocky:
Now all we need to do is attatch those lasers to some sharks.

EDIT: To Newton: No, because you just ninja'd me. Blast.

you could just say mount it on a horses head.

bow before the lasercorn!
image

lol epic win, this is like star wars stuff here and now, and these are small lasers? forget guns its going to be naval air and armor units that this stuff will change the most. imagine our nuclear carriers will already have the ability to power something like this and fitting guns on them not that a big a deal. tanks that can carve enemy tanks in half, slice buildings to pieces, fit one on a airplane it becomes an near unbeatable death glider, if it has accurate lasers that can track aircraft, or even missles, it can nearly instantaneously destroy them.

i feel we will all have to make due with our gunpowder hunting rifles and shotguns and pistols any deployment type would be along the lines of a heavy gunner with a bulky and heavy backpack because the kind of power these things need will not be human portable any time soon or small enough to fit inside a rifle housing or something. once we can fit 30kw in the size of a small battery, and obviously it would have to be much more than that to have more than one shot, but we get there then we will see star trek phasers and blaster pistols and the like. but would take some massively powerful large charge battery tech that has not been invented as far as i know.

Quazimofo:
Now that is pretty awesome, but how well does it fare when it comes to rapidly switching targets? If it can pull that off, then perhaps these things can even stop MIRV warheads (not necessarily nukes, since nukes are not the exclusive users of that tech), and that would be truly awesome.

switching targets would be fairly simple since the speed of light kind of gets rid of the whole "leading your targets" issue

Well, future war-craft are going to have a hull of a time avoiding a beam from this.

Amiright? Anyone? No?

I'll see myself out...

In all seriousness, this is pretty frickin' sweet. Would be interesting to see where they go with this.

rhizhim:

If only that was on Kickstarter, I'd support it. That or 'Resurrect Megalodon'.

We need to step up and create a common foe for humanity to rally against. Terrorism didn't do it. Neither did global warming. SOPA kinda worked, but now the danger is gone. Four words: Armored, explosive, rocket bees.


Man that siren cracks me up every time.

I really don't understand how this is awesome.

I think this is REALLY scary o.O

FizzyIzze:
Four words: Armored, explosive, rocket bees.

you area very, very bad and sadistic person, you know?

Now, we can actually have mechs, because them being tall enough to see hueg distances and hit things with the lasers is finally justified!

Please?

rhizhim:

FizzyIzze:
Four words: Armored, explosive, rocket bees.

you area very, very bad and sadistic person, you know?

Oh man, thanks for that! I was actually feeling a little down and that genuinely cracked me up.

This reminds me of the multi-beam frigate in Homeword: Cataclysm. The ship is designed with about 6 weapons like this to shoot down small fast moving strike craft. Not too effective against capital ships but a fighter/bomber pilot would have to be mad to try and attack one.

The sheer accuracy of this weapon will make it perfect at counter-ballistic/missile/rocket technology.

Then there will be laser cannons and small arms (I don't think a laser-rifle is the correct term, the laser itself wouldn't benefit from rifleing at all)... and to counter that some wackjob will make 'shields'.

Redlin5:
It's always the Germans, isn't it? Still, very fascinating. Conventional guns will never be taken out of production however. This stuff sounds incredibly expensive and even if a handheld weapon were devised, I bet it would be very limited. Probably using a powerpack on the back or something for energy. Who knows...

When the first muzzle-loading guns first appeared, I bet someone somewhere said something very similar. I don't mean muskets, I mean the original big-ass cannons that could lob a metal ball a couple of hundred yards.

This is first generation stuff here. Give it the 400+ years that firearms have had to evolve to their current level of sophistication, and I guarantee you that the only ballistic firearms left will be museum pieces and competition weapons.

Almost no surprise that it's the Germans that came up with this. They've been technologically streets ahead of everyone else since before World War 2.

Aaand then someone thinks of adding a reflective coating to their missle and the multi-mullion euro laser gun went kaboom.

Like most defensive measures, its so much more expensive than the things its defending against. Not as miserably inefficient as patriot missles though. They got those firing at palastine rockets, you know the ones made from ducttape and soda bottles that 99% of the time blow up a completely innocent boulder. Makes you wonder whos realy winning.

Quazimofo:
Now that is pretty awesome, but how well does it fare when it comes to rapidly switching targets? If it can pull that off, then perhaps these things can even stop MIRV warheads (not necessarily nukes, since nukes are not the exclusive users of that tech), and that would be truly awesome.

Target switching shouldn't be a problem as you can just mount the laser to existing C-RAM/Phalanx-esque CIWS system. My bigger interest is if it can take out cruise missiles. Specifically the Chinese hypersonic anti-carrier missile. Mount a one of the new lasers to a carrier, and watch the light show. Safety wise only thing I would be worried about is a bird, or dust flying in front of the laser while firing. People will be within close proximity (in real life, not testing) and the scatter off any target that is hit close by could permanently blind a large number of people instantly.

Cid SilverWing:
Terrifyingly ambitious, if I do say so myself.

Starting to wonder how long it'll be before lasers obsolete gunpowder.

There several problems with laser weapons. The biggest one is energy supply, there is not an efficient way to store electrical energy in reasonably portable manner. The energy density that is safely stored in gunpowder weapons are difficult to match, its the same basic problem as electric cars. Batteries and generators are heavier and contain less energy than there pure chemical counterparts. The other big problem is thermal blooming. Thermal blooming means that the laser beam is heating up the air between it and the target. So for long range or greater penetration you need much greater energy inputs. The third problem is that lasers are line of sight only. So if there is a 50 year old 152mm Russian artillery gun sitting behind a hill 15 miles away there is nothing you can do about it. Also when you are dealing with naval engagements because of the curvature of the earth you would end with less range than current anti ship missiles.

Turret mounted point defense lasers?

image

Sweet!

Let me get this straight.

Humanity just made a laser that we then used to blow up robots.

Elijah Newton:
Now to find some sharks.

(please, by all that is good, have we finally arrived at the happy day when nobody catches the reference?)

A day may come when men look upon a Sharks with Friggin Lazerbeams reference, and not get where it is from. But today is not that day

Groenteman:
Aaand then someone thinks of adding a reflective coating to their missle and the multi-mullion euro laser gun went kaboom.

Like most defensive measures, its so much more expensive than the things its defending against. Not as miserably inefficient as patriot missles though. They got those firing at palastine rockets, you know the ones made from ducttape and soda bottles that 99% of the time blow up a completely innocent boulder. Makes you wonder whos realy winning.

There's a lot more to a laser beam than the fact that it's made of light and points straight ahead. To put it in perspective, that beam carries the same amount of heat energy as, for example, this natural gas combustion generator, packed into an area roughly the size of an adult fist. That's an incredible amount of heat applied to a very small area. A reflective coating would only redirect or disperse a fraction of that energy before it melted or combusted.

Ok it's effective against drones and mortars, but what about Deathclaws?

Groenteman:
Aaand then someone thinks of adding a reflective coating to their missle and the multi-mullion euro laser gun went kaboom.

Like most defensive measures, its so much more expensive than the things its defending against. Not as miserably inefficient as patriot missles though. They got those firing at palastine rockets, you know the ones made from ducttape and soda bottles that 99% of the time blow up a completely innocent boulder. Makes you wonder whos realy winning.

The Palestinians are using Grad-P rockets these days which have about three times the range and 5 times the warhead as there now disused home made jobs. The grad rockets, in common with AK47 and RPG, are pretty much generic. However the they will be in the same order of magnitude of cost per launch as the Iron dome missile. The expensive bit is the tracking gear not the rockets themselves.

Groenteman:
Aaand then someone thinks of adding a reflective coating to their missle and the multi-mullion euro laser gun went kaboom.

Like most defensive measures, its so much more expensive than the things its defending against. Not as miserably inefficient as patriot missles though. They got those firing at palastine rockets, you know the ones made from ducttape and soda bottles that 99% of the time blow up a completely innocent boulder. Makes you wonder whos realy winning.

Actually no, the idea that a mirror can reflect a weaponized laser is a common misconception. Unless the mirror can reflect 100% (the mirror in your household reflects roughly 40% of the light directed at it), the laser will only take a second or two to burn through it. That and the fact that the mirrors would have to be kept in pristine condition during flight. Imagine an ICBM in a silo, surrounded by all the smoke and debris of the rocket firing. When we consider that Israel was able to stomach stuffing its iron dome with missiles that cost $90,000 a pop, in comparison a one time investment for a laser that requires no ammunition and runs off electricity in ludicrously cheap. The average price for a single KWh in the U.S is ten cents.
Even when we are forced to use systems such as the patriot missiles, one has to ask how much is a human life worth? Or if you are a souless bastard, how much would it cost to rebuild the damage done by the rocket.

the potential is scary to say the least. mix it with a vehicle with that new quantum stealth fabric (assuming it works as well as they are claiming) and you have a true stealth killing machine especially if you include an electric drive engine.

ok that got scarier the more i thought about it.. a vehicle you cant see, cant hear, and cant detect when it fires

That's one more element in the half-life fiasco complete...

rhizhim:
i knew that the cancellation of the dragon tank was a lie.

Lt. Rocky:
Now all we need to do is attatch those lasers to some sharks.

EDIT: To Newton: No, because you just ninja'd me. Blast.

you could just say mount it on a horses head.

bow before the lasercorn!
image

The sad part, It took me a couple minuets to realize that was an Onion people.

Cid SilverWing:
Terrifyingly ambitious, if I do say so myself.

Starting to wonder how long it'll be before lasers obsolete gunpowder.

Will never happen. Guns do not need electricity.

But I must start to wonder, When will the NRA get around to ensuring my right to hunt with a Laser Rifle? I guess they have bigger battles to fight at the moment, maybe next year.

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