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bobbymike

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http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/britain-developing-deadly-laser-cannon-its-naval-warships-19312
 

bobbymike

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http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1753354-air-force-laser-weapons-to-defend-b-52-bomber
 

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http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1630452-af-chief-scientist-drones-to-fire-lasers
 

bring_it_on

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Laser, railgun programs established at Navy acquisition offices

The Navy has established programs for high-energy lasers and the electromagnetic railgun at Naval Sea Systems Command acquisition directorates, paving the way for technologies that have long been stuck in research and development to potentially be installed on the service's ships one day.

The program executive office for integrated warfare systems (PEO IWS) is developing acquisition plans for lasers and the electromagnetic railgun, as well as the railgun's associated weapon, the hypervelocity projectile, according to NAVSEA spokeswoman Christianne Witten.

Last August, a "Directed Energy Program Office" was set up at the above-water sensors directorate within PEO IWS, Witten wrote in a Feb. 22 email. The new office was established to "accelerate the fielding of High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon systems to the fleet," according to the spokeswoman.

Additionally, last June, the Navy's acquisition executive charged the surface-ship weapons program office at PEO IWS with developing an acquisition and fielding plan for the railgun and the hypervelocity projectile, Witten said.

The directed energy program office at PEO IWS is already surveying industry for a new laser program called "SEASABER." In a Feb. 22 Federal Business Opportunities posting, the sensors directorate asks companies for information on their laser capabilities for development and production of “SEASABER” increment one spanning fiscal years 2018 through FY-22.

The notice states the first increment of the new program will consist of a 60-kilowatt, high-energy laser along with "counter-ISR dazzling capability." The Navy wants to field the system on an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer "in the shortest time frame possible," according to the posting.

"Priorities for this system will include technical maturity, ship integration, combat systems integration, producibility and reliability," the notice states. "Additionally, PEO IWS seeks concepts and interfaces to enable modularity to permit capability upgrades as technology continues to mature."

Additionally, a new full and open competition is in the works for the railgun. While the Office of Naval Research and several companies will continue their development of the railgun and projectile, Witten said the program office is planning to hold a new competition for the technologies prior to them entering the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the acquisition process, known as "milestone B."

"The railgun acquisition program will avoid being 'locked in' to proprietary solutions for key system components," Witten wrote. "It is the Navy's objective to leverage the industry competition that ONR initially held for the subsystems of pulse power, barrel technology maturation and projectiles. Another round of system full and open competition is planned at milestone B."

ONR began the railgun project in 2005. The first phase of the program involved a "proof-of-concept" demonstration of a 32-mega-joule railgun firing, according to ONR's website. The second, ongoing phase involves maturing the railgun technologies so they can be transitioned to an acquisition program.

The latest developments are particularly focused on demonstrating a sustained rep-rate 10 rounds fired per minute, according to Rear Adm. David Hahn, the chief of naval research. The Navy will conduct testing firings to that end later this spring at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, VA, Hahn said during a Feb. 14 address at an industry conference in Arlington, VA. Hahn noted the high heat generated by railgun firings can warp and erode the gun's structure.

"It's not effective if you are having to replace a barrel or re-do the rails after 10 shots," Hahn told reporters following his address.

Major contractors involved with the railgun project include BAE Systems, General Atomics, L3 Technologies and Raytheon. Despite the Navy's intentions for a new round of competition, the acquisition strategy and timeline are still unclear.

"The Navy is in the process of establishing a detailed plan that will further define the path to complete development of key technologies for both the railgun and the HVP and the associated schedule to deploy an operational capability on a Navy ship," Witten, the NAVSEA spokeswoman, said.
 

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Laser Proof of Concept Coming Soon

—Wilson Brissett

3/3/2017

​US Special Operations Command is currently testing a laser weapon system and hopes to have “a layout of proof of concept” completed within “months to maybe a year,” Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, chief of Air Force Special Operations Command, told reporters at AWS17 on Thursday. He said the system is “SOCOM’s No. 1 unfunded priority” and that he remains “a strong supporter,” but the slow development of the program was understandable given the “scar tissue from programs from the past” that sought to develop directed energy weapons systems. He said the system in development is an “offensive capability” with “very different technology” from previous attempts. One purpose of the ongoing testing, Webb said, is to determine which aircraft would deploy the system, how it would be mounted, and whether current weapons would need to be eliminated from certain airframes to make room for it. Webb said the program is a “joint government and industry project” and that “there are massive supporters within our government of the program.”
 

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Upgrade of Army's HEL-MD. Laser is now specified as "100KW class" and an adaptive optics system is included in the beam control system.

Lockheed is currently working on an IR&D fiber laser nominally rated at 60KW to swap out with the current 10KW laser. This program sets up a government funding source but will probably attract other bidders and they may have to upgrade to stay competitive. Boeing will probably continue as the beam control supplier. The 30cm aperture specification is probably close to (or matches) the current design.
 

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http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/03/14/the_future_of_laser_weapons_110966.html
 

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Item 3 on the poster: MEHEL 5KW laser mounted on a Stryker. This is an upgrade from the original 2KW laser and used mainly for drone hunting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiEXkqIbKsY
 

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HEL-MD 60KW laser passes acceptance test. The original laser was only around 10KW. This laser is based on spectrally combined fiber lasers which behave as a single coherent beam (much tighter focusing at target).

SMDC announces 60kW laser test successful
https://www.army.mil/article/184558/smdc_announces_60kw_laser_test_successful

"During the testing conducted last week, the laser demonstrated a sustained power of 57.5kW for a duration of 200 seconds with good beam quality. This level exceeds the contract threshold for success, and with the addition of three more channels planned before delivery, power will exceed the 60kW program objective."
 

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http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/03/us-navy-will-prototype-many-sizes-and.html
 

bring_it_on

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Navy League 2017: Lockheed Martin seeks to adapt laser system for USN



Lockheed Martin is interested in adapting its 60 kW laser systems for the US Navy (USN) Surface Navy Laser Weapons System (SNLWS), Jim Murdoch, Director of Advanced Technologies Business Development for Lockheed Martin, told reporters at the Annual Navy League conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on 3 April 2017.

Lockheed Martin recently completed the design (developed under the Department of Defense's Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) programme), development, and demonstration of a 60 kW combined fibre laser for the US Army that produced a single 58 kW beam earlier in March that will be delivered to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Alabama, sometime in May. The combined fibre nature of the laser brings together individual fibre optics-generated laser beams that can be scaled in power intensity by adding subunits and is diffraction limited or "close to the physical limits for focusing energy toward a single, small spot". According to Lockheed Martin, the laser system translated more than 45% of electricity that powered it into the actual laser beam emitted.

"Our big things are efficiency. So you are not throwing away a lot of heat that you have to deal with and then precision. You want that beam to be nicely focused," Murdoch said. "So how do we do at that? Well ... we hit about 43% efficiency ... and that allows us to build a system that does not need a lot of cooling and we could put it in [the US Army's mobile test truck]."

"If you are going to provide a system for a DDG [guided missile destroyer], that is a ship that ... depending on whichever flight it is, there is probably enough space to accommodate at least 60 kW without a large ship integration impact," he added. "If it is over 40% efficient, you only need a 150 kW of electrical power and that is at the peak when you are actually lasing a target. If you use a battery pack, and you charge the battery pack when you are not shooting, and maybe - depending on how often you are shooting - you only need to put 100 kW in there. So that is probably a manageable ship integration impact. And maybe you do not have to have an additional power source added."
 

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http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/04/ultra-pure-diamond-crystal-at-point-of.html
 

Grey Havoc

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bobbymike said:
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/04/ultra-pure-diamond-crystal-at-point-of.html

Some more details: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-star-wars-superlaser-longer-sci-fi.html
 

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http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/04/us-navy-air-force-and-army-should-have-combat-lasers-in-the-150-kilowatt-to-megawatt-range-in-the-2020s.html
 

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http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/11/world/laser-weapons-edge-toward-use-u-s-military/#.WO0TqFLMyRs
 

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bobbymike said:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/11/world/laser-weapons-edge-toward-use-u-s-military/#.WO0TqFLMyRs

I guess superficial is better than biased. The closing paragraphs of the article referenced the ABL and how it was canceled because of concerns that its' laser was too weak.

Compared to electric lasers (either fiber or slab), chemical lasers are still a full 1 to 2 orders of magnitude more powerful. Cancellation was driven by politics as exemplified by the manner in which the aircraft was literally gutted after program termination.

The current generation of electric lasers do have a very significant advantage over chemical lasers in their ease of operation and running duration. No waste chemicals and no plumbing with countless valves and pumps. Beam control development and debugging is a lot easier with that kind of flexibility. Maybe having smaller systems that aren't so tempting to cancel might allow hardware to finally reach deployment.
 

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Some show room views of the Rheinmetall laser system.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpKC4suDqzI
 

jsport

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fredymac said:
bobbymike said:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/11/world/laser-weapons-edge-toward-use-u-s-military/#.WO0TqFLMyRs

I guess superficial is better than biased. The closing paragraphs of the article referenced the ABL and how it was canceled because of concerns that its' laser was too weak.

Compared to electric lasers (either fiber or slab), chemical lasers are still a full 1 to 2 orders of magnitude more powerful. Cancellation was driven by politics as exemplified by the manner in which the aircraft was literally gutted after program termination.

The current generation of electric lasers do have a very significant advantage over chemical lasers in their ease of operation and running duration. No waste chemicals and no plumbing with countless valves and pumps. Beam control development and debugging is a lot easier with that kind of flexibility. Maybe having smaller systems that aren't so tempting to cancel might allow hardware to finally reach deployment.
Thank you sir, for at least bringing up chemical lasers again in this thread. believes Hybrids need a second look.

Likewise the continental Europeans may have something w/ three lenses. Any info on that you can share?
 

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https://www.army.mil/article/186025/with_no_bullets_mobile_high_energy_laser_shoots_drones_from_sky
 

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http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2017/3/29/navy-officials-no-longer-talking-publicly-about-laser-weapon-systems
 

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“Likewise the continental Europeans may have something w/ three lenses. Any info on that you can share?”

Modular design in order to limit costs. Each module means a full telescope assembly with its’ own fiber laser sources. The trick is in guessing what is the optimal module power in order to cover enough target scenarios without having an ungainly number of them bolted to the gimbal.

The other aspect is staying below the atmospheric cell size. For vertical air columns that would be around 8 inches or so but for horizontal propagation, it gets messy. Adaptive optics is used to deal with this. If you stay below the cell size, beam tilt can compensate pointing dither.
 

jsport

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fredymac said:
“Likewise the continental Europeans may have something w/ three lenses. Any info on that you can share?”

Modular design in order to limit costs. Each module means a full telescope assembly with its’ own fiber laser sources. The trick is in guessing what is the optimal module power in order to cover enough target scenarios without having an ungainly number of them bolted to the gimbal.

The other aspect is staying below the atmospheric cell size. For vertical air columns that would be around 8 inches or so but for horizontal propagation, it gets messy. Adaptive optics is used to deal with this. If you stay below the cell size, beam tilt can compensate pointing dither.
Thank you for the info.
 

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http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/04/us-military-is-close-to-an-operational-combat-laser-on-the-ac-130j-gunship.html
 

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https://distributedlethality.iqpc.com/?utm_source=mdaa&utm_medium=externalmail&utm_campaign=-external-externalmail&utm_term=dehome&utm_content=text&mac=de_mdaa1&disc=de_mdaa1
 

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http://www.defensenews.com/articles/future-army-air-and-missile-defense-capabilities-taking-shape-under-new-commander
 

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Almost certainly another fiber based HEL with only a few KW of power. Still, it will provide some early real-world data on beam pointing when mounted on the equivalent of a paint-shaker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW757uG8Op0
 

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Not perfectly aligned with this category but.............

http://news.unl.edu/newsrooms/today/article/1-billion-suns-world-s-brightest-laser-sparks-new-behavior-in-light/
 

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http://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/army-boosting-laser-weapons-power-tenfold/?_ga=2.75133906.1551331341.1500404304-486591487.1497889324
 

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http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2017/8/18/widespread-applications-envisioned-for-airborne-lasers
 

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Qinetiq "Dragonfire" laser based on components from MBDA, Leonardo, and BAE Systems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wSv08w8ob0
 

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Lockheed Athena fiber laser (30KW) vs UAVs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNsUtZmWgdg
 

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/2017/10/05/pentagon_to_accelerate_laser_weapons_development_297352.html
 

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Lockheed Martin Gets $9 Million to Test UAS-Based Laser

The Missile Defense Agency on Oct. 5 awarded a $9 million contract to Lockheed Martin for integration and testing of a low power laser to be used on an unmanned aerial system. The program is called Low Power Laser Demonstrator Phase 1, and the contract is for work on laser power and aperture size. The estimated completion date for the work is July 5, 2018. Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein has promised to push directed energy programs during his tenure. In July, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva committed to convene a meeting of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council to review recent developments in laser technology. —Wilson Brissett
 

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DOD taps Lockheed to start new effort to develop airborne missile-defense laser

The Defense Department has tapped Lockheed Martin to begin integrating a low-power laser on a high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle, the first of a small number of contracts slated to be awarded this year to develop competing approaches for a potential precursor to an airborne laser capable of intercepting ballistic missiles during the boost-phase of flight.
 

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Another Scan Eagle shoot down from USS Ponce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1klgjaapZg
 

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https://www.llnl.gov/news/plasma-optic-combines-lasers-superbeam

"Now the North Koreans and Iranians will see the power of our super beam"
 

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https://www.army.mil/article/195650/army_developing_lasers_that_pierce_fog_dust_to_destroy_targets
 

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