Navy Shipboard Laser System Declared Operational

DA SWO

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The naysayers proven wrong again.


http://news.usni.org/2014/12/10/u-s-navy-allowed-use-persian-gulf-laser-defense

PENTAGON — The U.S. Navy is has declared an experimental laser weapon on its Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) in the Persian Gulf an operational asset and U.S. Central Command has given permission for the commander of the ship to defend itself with the weapon, the head of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) told reporters on Wednesday.

The 30 kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was installed aboard USS Ponce this summer as part of a $40 million research and development effort from ONR and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to test the viability of directed energy weapons in an operational environment, said ONR Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder.

“The captain of that ship has all of the authorities necessary if there was a threat inbound to that ship to protect our sailors and Marines [and] we would defend that ship with that laser system,” Klunder said.
“It would be [used] against those [unmanned aerial vehicles], slow moving helicopters, fast patrol craft.”
As part of the development program, the Navy developed rules of engagement (ROE) for the use of the laser weapon in a year of negotiations with Pentagon leadership, Klunder said.

“At the end of the day it came right out from the [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and the [Secretary of Defense] notebook and we were approved and CENTCOM has the responsibility and given the authority to the skipper of that ship,” he said.

ONR showed off a video in which the LaWS system — mounted on the ship’s super structure above the bridge — disabled a small Scan Eagle-sized UAV, detonated a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and burned out the engine of a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB).

Klunder did not give details on the ROE or the ranges of LaWS but did say that humans were not a target of the weapon, under stipulations of the Geneva Conventions which he did not detail.

He did say that the Navy has tested LaWS against a simulated small boat so-called swarm attack and that the system was effective.

LaWS is composed in part of commercial laser components and proprietary Navy software that allow the weapon to achieve up to 35 percent level of efficiency relative to the power pumped through the system — a higher than average rate compared to other lasers.

The system is powered and cooled by a so-called “skid” that provides power through a diesel generator and is separate from Ponce separate electrical systems.

LaWS is tied to the ship’s navigation radar and the close-in weapon system (CIWS) and is also able to be targeted independently by sailors on the ship through a station in Ponce combat information center (CIC).

In addition to the offensive power, LaWS has proved useful as a surveillance tool due to its powerful optics that can detect objects at “tactically significant ranges” like a shipboard “Hubble Telescope,” Klunder said.

The Navy plans to keep LaWS onboard Ponce for a year and is examining deployments on other ships.

ONR’s next step for laser weapons will be a 100 to 150 kilowatt version it plans to test in 2016 or 2017.
 

DA SWO

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Am I reading this correctly in that in only cost $40 mil to design and develop? Or was that simply just to put it on a ship?

I took the $40 M to be the shipboard installation part.

So much money has been spent by so many agencies that (IMO) calculating the true cost can't be done.
 

Gunz

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So now the Swabbies have this laser system and the electromagnetic rail gun. Wow, all these hi-tech weaponry options and our enemies are using 50-year old Kalishnikovs and IEDs. My question: when does the Air Force get the AC-130 versions of these systems?
 

AKkeith

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I thought this weapon was used against the whole ship, or target object.

I had no idea they are sniping small objects off the moving boat. Incredible.
 

Red Flag 1

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So now the Swabbies have this laser system and the electromagnetic rail gun. Wow, all these hi-tech weaponry options and our enemies are using 50-year old Kalishnikovs and IEDs. My question: when does the Air Force get the AC-130 versions of these systems?

Laser from on high, scary thought alright. Still, when it rains lead, all within range tend to just fill heir knickers, don't they? I wouldn't be too quick to loose that edge:sneaky:. But, that's my take.
 

Totentanz

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So now the Swabbies have this laser system and the electromagnetic rail gun. Wow, all these hi-tech weaponry options and our enemies are using 50-year old Kalishnikovs and IEDs. My question: when does the Air Force get the AC-130 versions of these systems?
Think less C-130 and more 747 (and more focus on air-to-air)... but it seems that funding has dried up. Envy may make it a priority again?

http://www.cnet.com/news/airborne-laser-hits-the-off-switch/

It was supposed to be a weapon of the future. Now the Airborne Laser is communing with the ghosts of aircraft past.

Earlier this month, the Airborne Laser, a seriously tricked-out Boeing 747-400 Freighter, arrived at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, where it has been consigned to a sprawling and dusty final resting place known as the "Boneyard" (the Air Force's Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, under its formal name).

Airborne_Laser_04.jpg

The business end of the now defunct Airborne Laser.U.S. Missile Defense Agency
Officially on the books as the YAL-1A Airborne Laser Test Bed, the big aircraft with the bulbous nose was designed to shoot down ballistic missiles. The idea was to catch a missile while it was still in the launch phase and thus most vulnerable, hitting it with a "megawatt-class" laser beam locked onto a pressurized part of the projectile long enough to compromise its structural integrity. Poof! There goes the threat.
 

SkrewzLoose

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It's just another system that will be on some ship just for the sake of having it. They'll do maintenance on it for the sake of doing maintenance. If it is ever used in an operational manner (shooting down a legitimate threat to the ship), I'll buy everyone in this thread a case of their favorite beer.
 

Totentanz

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So wait, Navy not only develops ships with frickin' lasers, but they offer free beer as well? Game on, Navy... We may let you kick our ass in football for another year.

BTW, Yuengling Black and Tan.
 

Gunz

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...If it is ever used in an operational manner (shooting down a legitimate threat to the ship), I'll buy everyone in this thread a case of their favorite beer.

I think you need to broaden the parameters here. Shooting down a "legitimate threat to a ship" -- considering that the Navy hasn't shot down anything since 1945 (except air-to-air and an Iranian airliner) -- maybe, in fairness, and considering that beer is the bait, give the potential free beer recipients a fighting chance.

And I'll take Killians, please.
 

SkrewzLoose

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90 min IPA for this guy....:thumbsup:
Delicious...now imagine a 12o min IPA...even deliciouser!!

I think you need to broaden the parameters here. Shooting down a "legitimate threat to a ship" -- considering that the Navy hasn't shot down anything since 1945 (except air-to-air and an Iranian airliner) -- maybe, in fairness, and considering that beer is the bait, give the potential free beer recipients a fighting chance.

And I'll take Killians, please.
My point exactly. And this is not about a 'fighting chance' when free beer is on the line. ;-)
 
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