Thursday, April 16, 2015

And the battlefield just got more interesting

What we were able to find out about this thing is that it’s a laser weapon with output energies (that's output, not total power in the system) ranging from 75 kilowatts all the way up to 300 kilowatts. To put that in perspective, about a year ago we wrote about how Lockheed was using a portable fiber laser to shoot down rockets at a range of 1.5 kilometers using just 10 kilowatts of power. Suffice it to say, 300 kilowatts is rather a lot. The weight of the system is dependent on its output power and the number of shots you want, but General Atomics engineers say that they’ve gotten it down to just 4 kilograms per kilowatt.
So for 300 kw that's around 2700 pounds.  And small enough to be vehicle-portable.  If the power supply actually works, well, wire that sucker into the firefinder radar and you can shoot skeet with incoming missiles and shells.  And enemy aircraft or drones... assuming the hype is true, it's not a Slammers powergun, but it'll do.


Anonymous said...

300 kilowatts is a lot of juice. What is going to power it? A generator capable of that kind of sustained output is going to need a deuce-and-a-half to haul it around and a second to haul fuel for it if they intend to keep it running, even just on standby.

I'm not saying this isn't a fascinating development but it looks like we're still a very long way from death rays.

Firehand said...

Yeah, not a powergun, but a step ahead.

For naval use, probably not a difficulty finding space for a generator. Land, it'd be more of a 'set up to guard airspace over the base/FOB' thing. Though with some of the newer batteries, might be able to fit enough on a vehicle along with the unit for a few shots for air defense.