Headline is so untruthful it hurts. This is kind of a little laser compared to the Navy's 150kW, and a complete toy compared to ongoing research and development test lasers which can output in the Petawatt range (LEFX). But still cool nontheless. Can't wait for aircraft to start flying with retroreflector coatings XD
Yes I hate click baity headlines but I think this tech is cool I'm going to have a laser rifle one day.
Like the government won't have already taken all our guns and right's by the time that is possible.
Pretty old news. Rheinmetall laser weapons are already in deployment. They were successfully combat tested against fast moving planes and drones over 4 years ago. They are deployed in arrays, typically of three units. Together they form a redundant laser air defence shield capable of engaging multiple fast moving targets simultaneously.
Also, this system is not a fairy tale like the other lockheed project, the F-35, it's not a Starfighter lolz, it's a real system that is much cheaper and better built and does actually perform.
Lockheed is "the Starfighter company", soon the "F-35 company" as a second title. I don't think they have any real credibility except in cost overruns, corruption, and faulty unusable equipment that gets friendlies killed at a rate even the enemy can't lol...
There are many good laser shield systems available on the market. The Israelis also make really nice stuff.
Please correct the spelling of your headline.
L. A. S. E. R. =
L - ight
A - mplification by
S - timulated
E - mission of
R - adiation
Yeah, I was expecting a story about a hacker who made an air pressure cannon to fire motorcycle helmets or something lol
You do realized I misspelled it on purpose. But anyways I shall change the title for you nitpicky few.
And all that money and development time can be negated by nothing more than a disco ball.
Nah got to go straight to retroreflectors. Send the beam right back
You can't get more retro than a disco ball.
The "Z" makes it cool
Nope, watch the demos of the Rheinmetall HEL, the system specifically and accurately targets the pilot of manned aerial vehicles, and the guidance and navigation systems of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, including rockets. There is no way to make ball bearings, hinges, defrost patches, exhaust ducts, inlets, IR pod lenses, radomes, etc... entirely reflective and still have a functional navigatable vehicle.
It will eat through a solid steel hinge or ball bearing in seconds, it will kill navigational equipment in fractions of a second.
Second factor is that in Germany, the HEL works together with other weapons systems, like the Lynx, which is a high rate of fire gatling machine cannon that can be deployed in the same redundant targeting network, and can also work in arrays to engage multiple targets at once. The yield and range are different, but it's designed to finish targets that are disorientated or decommissioned with the HEL units.
These things are pretty effective. Weapons that are approaching beyond the targeting possibilities of ballistic weapons, get slowed down and disabled by the HEL which works at light speed, for instance a missile or a supersonic fighter. The HEL does not depend on radar targeting, it uses all known kinds of targeting, and is really precise, fast and accurate. When the enemy object is slowed down or disabled, the Lynx can wait until it in range and can be successfully tracked for ballistic weapon targeting, and then finish it off before it can cause heavy collateral damage. Because of the portability, low installation requirements, fast deployment, mobility, and deployment in redundant arrays, it's a pretty formidable defence system. It's also relatively low cost, and requires very little operators and maintenance. It's a pretty modern weapon, also because it's a defence weapon, it's specifically made to protect, which intellectually is a huge step forward in weapons design. Most weapon systems are made to attack and destroy indiscriminately, and therefore lack in defensive capabilities. The focus of development with these modern weapons systems is completely different, there is only one field of efficiency to explore for developers, the scope is narrower, which increases the development and operational value.
It easy to reflect a laser and make a plane or missile reflective. Polished aluminium would do just fine.
Also using highly reflective surfaces make an aerial vehicle into a sitting duck for radar tracking. A simple Fliegerfaust or Stinger will take care of that. A maximum reflective vehicle would have no options for countermeasures against incoming radar guided surface to air missiles, if the chaff or flare dispensers would be inboard, the second the bay would open up, it would be targeted by the HEL, and in half a second the vehicle would be set ablaze, especially when the beam would then hit magnesium flares or pyrotechnical chaff dispensers. Also a completely reflective vehicle would not be able to have any onboard guidance equipment, because radomes or IR pods would be destroyed in fractions of a second by the HEL. It would also not be able to carry ordnance, because that would create attack surface, either if carried externally because of radar profiling, or internally because even opening up bays for a fraction of a second would cause HEL to ignite the inboard ordnance. So the only option would be a massive attack with passive remote controlled flying bombs that would travel subsonically (HEL would ignite the solid rocket fuel of a rocket through the exhaust), counting on overwhelming surface-to-air missile installations by numbers. That however would depend on radio transmissions, which are easy to jam. Even GPS navigation is useless because that's the first thing that is shut off in a war region.
Remains attacking with entirely radar stealth vehicles in very bad weather conditions where HEL can get no visual target processing going, but that is very limiting, and requires vehicles that can defend themselves in air combat situations. There is no entirely stealth-capable vehicle that can defend itself in a dogfight situation. Most stealth aircraft and drone designs are clunky and have designs with extreme compromise on navigational surfaces and surface-to-weight ratios, not to forget that stealth vehicles also carry less weapons and have less favorable weapon deployment conditions because the weapons are inboard. Also, most so-called stealth aerial vehicles are like 90% stealth according to radar tracking standards of 20-25 years ago, but modern tracking works in a completely different way, by combining data from ground tracking with data from aerial vehicles and satellites. It's pretty safe to say that "stealth" is completely overestimated and overhyped by modern technology standards.
Which leads us to another question... why are certain countries investing so enormously in aerial weapon platforms, particularily in manned aerial weapons platforms, they should know the technological reality... the reality is that maybe the do know very well that it's useless against a regular modern army, but they intend on only using it against non-regular insurgents, or even worse, against civilians? That's a pretty smelly can of worms right there lol!
Chaff blocks most radar systems. Put enough chaff in the air and you can blind just about anything. Lasers need to be used at close range and take time to do damage.
You could drop 2000lbs rocks from the stratosphere with gyroscopes on the laser installations. It's hard to make countermeasures for good old kinetic energy.
The usefulness of various stealth technologies depends on implementation and tactics. Of course, there's also the factor of luck. The important question is whether it pays off in the long run. The US military has a bad habit of listening to whatever gibberish the industrials (private corporations! - keep that in mind) feed them. In fact they go hand in hand so that everybody can scoop some of that sweet sweet taxpayer money.
The results are often gorgeous, too pricey to be used often in regular combat, and over-engineered, not because it is needed but for the $$$. The perfect example would be the Zumwalt and maaaybe to some extent the SR-71 Blackbird. The Blackbird actually offered good data on the extremes of human flight and behavior of materials.