I really should change my personal text
- Jul 4, 2013
- Reaction score
If such a powerful laser can fit on an FMTV truck, what about navy ships?The Army ditched the 150 kW stepping stone to the 300 kW HEL because the former had marginal capability against cruise missiles (if any at all). That added a couple of years to the program but I think it is a right approach. The focus on sub 150 kW should be compact packaging for base defense against C-UAS. Anything that goes into IFPC or other formations must be capable of defeating some of the hardest threats outside CRAM and small drones.
Navy ships are already getting lasers. The Navy wants this capability earlier and that limits initial power levels to around 150 kW max. The Army will test a prototype system in 2023ish time-frame and will likely take a production decision and field systems later in the decade. Navy is already installing its systems. Some of the designs are limited by power and space but nothing is really stopping the Navy (nothing technical) for getting a 300 kW - 0.5 MW HEL on the DDG-1000 using efforts already underway within the DOD. It is possible within the 2020's itself if the Navy put serious effort into it. Meanwhile laser scaling efforts are looking at higher power levels still. I see the LSC and FFG(X) as perfect opportunities to transition these systems (higher power levels).