US Laser and Rail Gun Development News


Jura

General
If you want to know the types of things the US Navy is doing with the Laser Weapons System (LAWS) which has been mounted on the USS Ponce for the last 2-3 years, watch this video, and realize that soon, this sort of system will be in use on other ships for close in defenses, and on aircraft as well.:



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two questions:
  1. what's going to happen to the LAWS after 2018: "Ponce is planned to be decommissioned in 2018." (quoting
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    )?
  2. since the LAWS is portrayed as such a gigantic success, why there's just a single installation of it?
 

Jura

General
in the post right above
two questions:
  1. what's going to happen to the LAWS after 2018: "Ponce is planned to be decommissioned in 2018." (quoting
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    )?
  2. ...
and here's a related article which doesn't answer my question though:
US Navy’s first laser-equipped ship returns to US ahead of retiring
Posted on September 28, 2017
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The US Navy’s afloat forward staging base-interim USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) returned to Naval Station Norfolk September 27 after spending over five years overseas.

The navy’s first laser-weapon system fitted ship returned from the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations and is set to be decommissioned and dismantled later this year.

Nicknamed “Proud Lion,” Ponce was reclassified from an amphibious transport dock ship to an interim afloat forward staging base with a hybrid crew of Navy and Military Sealift Command personnel.

They deployed to the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet and had been forward-deployed there since July 2012. The reclassification was experimental and based on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk’s (CV 63) role as an afloat special operations staging base during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001.

Following a mandate from the Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, in cooperation with the Military Sealift Command, coordinated efforts to provide Ponce as a response to a U.S. Central Command request for an afloat forward staging base to conduct a variety of in-theater sea operations. After successful implementation, Ponce remained in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations providing a platform capable of completing a variety of missions including humanitarian relief, special operations, mine countermeasure operations and serving as a command and control asset.

“The U.S. Navy’s ‘Proud Lion’ is America’s proof of concept of innovative warfighting operations and a testament to unmatched professionalism,” said Brig. Gen. Francis L. Donovan, commander, Naval Amphibious Forces, Task Force 51, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

The ship was commissioned July 10, 1971, in Norfolk, as an Austin-class amphibious transport dock ship (LPD). She became a workhorse of the Atlantic Fleet, completing 27 North Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf deployments over the next 42 years. In 2011, the ship was selected for decommissioning after her final deployment and began deactivation in November 2011 for a March 30 decommissioning. Refitted as an afloat forward staging base (interim), the ship gained new life and a hybrid crew.

In 2014, Ponce tested the laser weapons system, the first of its kind to be employed aboard a deployed U.S. Navy warship. Ponce’s participation in the development of this system was essential to defining a generation of directed energy weapons currently in development.

During her time in the 5th Fleet, Ponce deployed throughout the Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa, South Red Sea and Arabian Gulf to conduct expeditionary operations in support of diverse missions that included crisis response, airborne mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations and humanitarian aid/disaster relief missions.

Ponce was relieved in U.S 5th Fleet by the expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), the first U.S. ship commissioned outside the United States and the first ship built specifically for the purpose of serving as an afloat, forward-staging base.
 

Jura

General
Today at 8:12 PM
in the post right above

and here's a related article which doesn't answer my question though:
US Navy’s first laser-equipped ship returns to US ahead of retiring
Posted on September 28, 2017
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now noticed in USNI News:

"... Laser Weapon System (LaWS) ...

The system will not be transferred to Puller.

“While LaWS on Ponce provided the Navy some initial learning in an operational environment, including how to maintain such a system in the stressing maritime environment, there are no plans to incorporate LaWS on Lewis B. Puller at this time. The Navy will continue to explore options for incorporating directed energy (DE) weapons aboard Navy assets,” the service said in a statement last month."

USS Ponce Returns From Final Deployment Ahead of Decommissioning
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Jeff Head

General
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #264
two questions:
  1. what's going to happen to the LAWS after 2018: "Ponce is planned to be decommissioned in 2018." (quoting
    Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
    )?
  2. since the LAWS is portrayed as such a gigantic success, why there's just a single installation of it?
The installation on the Ponce was an at sea test of an intial technology demonstrator that could actually shoot things down and destroy things.

Clearly, the Ponce is an old Amphibious ship that was doing duty initially as a test at sea basing ship, and then took on the roll to also test the laser.

it has proven very successful and the US Navy I expect will begin tio install lasers on other ships.

First they will put some of the higher powered ones onan actual fighting ship to test them out at higher power.

Then, if that also proves successful which I expect it will, they will then standardize it and begin deciding which ships will get them. Carriers, LHDs, LPDs and DDGs are all potential users...as to where they will start, I do not know. But I expect to see them go to sea between now and the early 2020s for another round of proof, and then in the early to mod 2020s you will see them begin to make their way into the overall fleet.

The rail gun are going to go through a similar evolution...perhaps starting with the 3rd Zumwalt...which would also (IMHO) be an excellent candidate to do the test of the larger laser.

Instead of two 155mm guns, put on one 155mm rail gun, and instead of the two 35mm guns, use one spot for the more powerful laser.

That would make a lot of sense to me.
 

Jura

General
I start with the funny quote
Laser skeptics sometimes note that laser proponents over the years have made numerous predictions about when lasers might enter service with DOD, and that these predictions repeatedly have not come to pass. Viewing this record of unfulfilled predictions, skeptics might argue that “lasers are X years in the future—and always will be.”
from inside of Sep 9, 2015
and now the news:
Lockheed to develop experimental laser for fighters
07 November, 2017
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Lockheed Martin has received a $26.3 million contract to develop and produce a laser than can be tested on a fighter jet by 2021.

The initiative will see Lockheed develop a high power fiber laser as part of US Air Force's Research Lab's Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) programme, says Lockheed in a statement.

"Lockheed Martin continues to rapidly advance laser weapon systems and the technologies that make them possible," says Rob Afzal, senior fellow of laser weapon systems at Lockheed Martin.

"We have demonstrated our ability to use directed energy to counter threats from the ground, and look forward to future tests from the air as part of the SHiELD system."

ShiED has three subsystems: the beam control system that directs the laser to the target, a pod that powers and cools the laser, and the laser itself.

"Earlier this year, we delivered a 60 kW-class laser to be installed on a U.S. Army ground vehicle. It's a completely new and different challenge to get a laser system into a smaller, airborne test platform. It's exciting to see this technology mature enough to embed in an aircraft," says Afzal.

"The development of high power laser systems like SHiELD show laser weapon system technologies are becoming real. The technologies are ready to be produced, tested and deployed on aircraft, ground vehicles and ships."
 

Jeff Head

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Staff member
Super Moderator
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #266
I am building 1/350 scale CIWS laser and Pail Gun emplacements for my CVN-80 USS Enterprise.

In addition to the 6th generation airwing, I intend to equip her with two Lasers and two Rail guns to supplement her 3 phalanx, 2 RAM launchers and 2 ESSM launchers.

Current Laser and Rial Gun test weapons:

CVN80-066.jpg
CVN80-067.jpg

The current laser is being tested at from 20-50 kw.

My two 1/350 scale operational Lasers for CIWS, which will have a 100-500 kw scale able power, effective out to 3 miles and able to disable aircraft, small boats and missiles:

CVN80-068.JPG

My two operational 35mm Rail Gun CIWS, with a range out to the horizon (and at the elevation planned that will be 10-12 miles, and capable of engaging any object, including missiles:

CVN80-069.JPG

Both of my lasers and rail guns. I intend to place themeith both on th aft starboard and port sponsons, or one of each on the aft port and the other of each on the forward starboard sponson.

CVN80-070.JPG

We'll just have to wait and see.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #267
Here they are placed aft. I will probably put the two back there on the port aft sonson, and the other two on the forward port sponson.

CVN80-070b.jpg
 

Jura

General
Yesterday at 7:35 AM
I start with the funny quote
from inside of Sep 9, 2015
and now the news:
Lockheed to develop experimental laser for fighters
07 November, 2017
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related:
Coming in 2021: A laser weapon for fighter jets
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Lockheed Martin will create a high-powered laser for the U.S. Air Force that will be demonstrated on a fighter jet in 2021.

The company was recently awarded a $26.3 million contract to design and build a fiber laser as part of an Air Force Research Laboratory program called Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator, or SHiELD. That laser will be integrated with two other main subsystems: a pod that will power and cool the laser and a beam-control system, which will direct the laser onto the target.

If successful, the technology could be a game-changer. The Air Force has long desired an airborne laser so that it can take out surface-to-air and air-to-air missile threats more cheaply than current intercept methods.

Industry has struggled for about a decade to make a laser small enough to be installed on a vehicle or aircraft that was also powerful enough to be relevant on a battlefield, Rob Afzal, Lockheed’s senior fellow of laser weapon systems, said during a Tuesday phone call with reporters. However, improvements in fiber laser technology are enabling the company to miniaturize more powerful systems.

“We’re able now to put a scalable system together that’s very efficient at converting electric power into a high-power laser beam while maintaining the beam quality. And by maintaining that beam quality, that means you get the most effectiveness from your system,” he said.

“Because the system is efficient, it demands fewer resources from the platform. It demands the lowest amount of electric power and generates the lowest amount of waste heat.”

So how powerful will Lockheed’s laser be? Afzal wouldn’t say, except that it would be in the “tens of kilowatts.” He also shied away from questions about which fighter jet will carry the laser, the range of the weapon and how the Air Force will test SHiELD during the demonstration, directing those queries to the service.

After Lockheed finishes developing and testing its laser in a series of ground tests, it will deliver it to the Air Force lab, where it will be integrated with the other SHiELD subsystems before another round of testing and integration aboard an unspecified jet, Afzal said.

Northrop Grumman is manufacturing the beam-control system, which goes by the acronym STRAFE, which stands for SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects. Boeing is responsible for integrating the SHiELD systems into a single pod, called Laser Pod Research and Development.

Afzal declined to comment on when Lockheed will deliver the laser or when its preliminary design review would be complete.

Lockheed has experience developing high-powered tactical lasers. Earlier this year, the company delivered a 60-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army to be integrated on the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, the service’s largest ground vehicle. It has also built a 30-kilowatt laser system that has been in the field for four years, Afzal said.
 

Jura

General
noticed Air Force to begin exploring use of defensive laser weapons on KC-135s
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The Air Force has been talking about placing laser weapons on fighter jets for some time, but Air Mobility Command is also looking to the possibility of using lasers to counter surface-to-air and air-to-air missile threats.

Gen. Carlton Everhart, head of AMC, told Air Force Times he wants to begin exploring this capability on a KC-135 refueling tanker starting next year.

The four-star has talked about the idea of employing lasers before, but now he’s taking steps to get a KC-135 to the Air Force Research Laboratory by the summer of 2018 to start testing the concept.

The researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio would get six months to a year to experiment with the aircraft to see what is possible and what questions would need to be answered, said AMC spokesman Col. Chris Karns.

“The expectation is to have this capability available to our war fighters within two years,” Everhart said. “It’s time to move out and show we’re serious about this to our airmen.”

As the United States faces more advanced adversaries that can fire anti-aircraft missiles, refueling tankers are a prime target because of their size and mission.

Everhart has also discussed a type of “cloaking device” that could make it harder for an enemy to detect these large planes on their radars.

The commander said he wants to take advantage of the bright, innovative minds within the Air Force to help future war fighters.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
They have been talking about this "wunder waffen" for the last 30 years with nothing to show of. The best that they can muster is 30 Kw laser to hit small boat from 150 m Big deal
I believe when I see it Sofar it is vapor weapon
I though at one time they had this enormous chemical laser mounted on Boeing 747 with nose turret After spending zillion of dollar it was quietly withdrawn as impractical in 2011

Boeing YAL-1
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
YAL-1 Airborne Laser
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ABL aircraft during flight
Role
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(ABL)
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weapons system
Manufacturer
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First flight July 18, 2002
Status Canceled
Primary user
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Number built 1
Developed from
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Career
Serial
00-0001
The Boeing YAL-1
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Testbed (formerly Airborne Laser) weapons system was a megawatt-class
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(COIL) mounted inside a modified
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. It is primarily designed as a
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system to destroy
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(TBMs) while in
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. The aircraft was designated YAL-1A in 2004 by the
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.
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The YAL-1 with a low-power laser was test-fired in flight at an airborne target in 2007.
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A high-energy laser was used to intercept a test target in January 2010,
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and the following month, successfully destroyed two test missiles.
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Funding for the program was cut in 2010 and the program was canceled in December 2011.
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It made its final flight on February 14, 2012 to
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in
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to be kept in storage at the "
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" by the
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. It was ultimately scrapped in September 2014 after all usable parts were removed.
 

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