By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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January 22, 2013
Speaking of precision-guided weapons, Rheinmetall recently successfully tested a 50kW laser weapon against a 15mm/0.59-inch-thick steel girder at 1,000 meters (1000M), a group of nose-diving target drones flying at 50 meters per second (164 fps) at a distance of 1.24 miles (2 kilometers) and a 82mm (3.22-inch) simulated mortar round moving at 50 meters per second. The target drones were detected by the system at a range of 1.86 miles (3 kilometers) out. The system can reportedly be operated in adverse environmental conditions, including snow, "dazzling sunlight", ice and rain.
Since Raytheon demonstrated a 50-kW laser weapon system at the 2010 Farnborough Airshow, it would appear that Rheinmetall is playing catch-up. However, Rheinmetall is claiming it will have a 60kW laser weapon with integrated 35mm Ahead Revolver Guns by late 2013, and that a 100kW laser is "feasible".
DefenseReview (DR) sees mobile, multi-spectral high-engergy laser weapons systems as the natural follow-on to kinetic systems that utilize projectiles to intercept airborne threats, and it would appear that they will become the primary air-defense method of the future. Lasers can engage more airborne threats more quickly, more acurately, and seemingly more cost-effectively than anti-aircraft/anti-missile missile systems and ballistic systems like the Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) Gatling gun (multi-barrel rotary machine gun). Speed kills, and nothing beats the speed of light.
Photo(s) Credit: Rheinmetall Defence
Company Contact Info:
Rheinmetall Defence/Rheinmetall AG Rheinmetall Platz 1 40476 Düsseldorf Germany Phone: +49 211 473-01 Fax: +49 211 473-4727 Email: [email protected] Website: http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/en/rheinmetall_defence/index.php
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