# US Navy tactical laser: real video or cgi?

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Seems too "explosive" to be just infrared laser. The explosive response can only happen if the metal is instantaneously vaporized, like an armor-piercing round. Additionally, they note it will only be ready for use in the early 2020s. Seems like a very long time if they already have a working prototype - especially if short-range protection is so critical and an urgent need of the navy.

PS: after watching again, it looks like they may be firing a laser at an explosive on the target

http://news.yahoo.com/watch-u-navy-laser-weapon-two-ships-video-173218470.html

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#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088

John

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012

John

#### ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,168
Google "navy laser weapon". You will get multiple hits from legit news organizations.

I am not calling shenanigans on this.

#### alfacliff

Joined Dec 13, 2013
2,458
isnt it neat how the military always starts from scratch on projects like this? there were years of development on the airborn laser, which has a lot more power than this little 30 kw laser.also the optics and aiming systems. when the government drops a project, they seem to throw away all the information developed. a huge waste of money and resources.

#12

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
isnt it neat how the military always starts from scratch on projects like this? there were years of development on the airborn laser, which has a lot more power than this little 30 kw laser.also the optics and aiming systems. when the government drops a project, they seem to throw away all the information developed. a huge waste of money and resources.
The Chemical Oxygen/Iodine Laser (COIL) by Boeing/Lockheed 10-years ago installed in a 747 and field tested. What ever happened to that? Still on the shelf at Northrop-Grumman.

http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabilities/ChemicalHighEnergyLaser/Pages/default.aspx

Google "navy laser weapon". You will get multiple hits from legit news organizations.

I am not calling shenanigans on this.
The ?Youtube video is from the NRL (naval research laboratory). No doubt it was published by correct sources and picked up by the broad media. I'm just wondering if the video is "as is" or somehow "enhanced" for better image.

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#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
PS: after watching again, it looks like they may be firing a laser at an explosive on the target
Or a simulated fuel tank.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,591
I saw this earlier on yahoo news. On yahoo they had a playlist of 4 videos from nrl inluding you link. In the other videos they show it shooting things other than RPG launch tubes, and the footage is less exciting.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,518
isnt it neat how the military always starts from scratch on projects like this? there were years of development on the airborn laser, which has a lot more power than this little 30 kw laser.also the optics and aiming systems. when the government drops a project, they seem to throw away all the information developed. a huge waste of money and resources.
There were spaces allocated in new ships for projected energy weapons long before the technology was ready even for a demo. The LAWS program has been around for a while getting the basic platform ready for the hostile sea environment that's completely different from a airborne laser system. It's amazing the progress that's been made in that short time.

#### ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
That looks pretty useless if all its gonna do is some sunburns to Somali pirates,i'd rather shoot them with 50mm. Maybe if this had anti-missile capability it would been something .

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,518
It's paired with CIWS for anti-missile capability. There is a limited amount of ammo or missiles for an engagement so any target that can be stopped with the laser is a plus for leaving more ammo in the mag.

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#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
That looks pretty useless if all its gonna do is some sunburns to Somali pirates,i'd rather shoot them with 50mm. Maybe if this had anti-missile capability it would been something .
$100k plus for missile.$1 for IR laser blast, assuming they get a couple million blasts out of each one.

#### ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Well im pretty sure that they wont be firing guided rockets. 50mm shell costs under 100$and would do more damage.There was a better laser developed in early 2000's which was capable of destroying missiles but it was cancelled. Thread Starter #### GopherT Joined Nov 23, 2012 8,012 Well im pretty sure that they wont be firing guided rockets. See post #11 50mm shell costs under 100$ and would do more damage.
These have existed for years, why are they developing laser and close-in missile systems?

There was a better laser developed in early 2000's which was capable of destroying missiles but it was cancelled.
More infor on that one here. Cancelled in 2011 due to acquisition cost per unit of $1.5B and additional$100M annual running costs. And an estimate of 10 to 20 planes, to be determined once system reliability was determined. Program was cancelled after \$5B+ had been spent on development.
http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/abl/

#### ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
I just think that lasers won't be any good when next gen of missiles get developed which will probably have evasive maneuver's,rendering laser pretty much useless since it won't be able to keep up with missile constantly changing direction.I only see this useful for missile guidance.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I just think that lasers won't be any good when next gen of missiles get developed which will probably have evasive maneuver's,rendering laser pretty much useless since it won't be able to keep up with missile constantly changing direction.I only see this useful for missile guidance.
Faster than a laser! That is an agile missile.

#### ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
I don't mean faster than laser,the turret that laser is mounted on maybe wont be able to keep up with the missile.

#### JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
I don't mean faster than laser,the turret that laser is mounted on maybe wont be able to keep up with the missile.
People have learned to lead a moving object since the rock throwing days. If the missile passes close to the ship I might agree with you. From a longer distance, a more likely scenario, there is plenty of lead angle.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,518
Most anti-ship missile laser countermeasure don't involve directional changes. The laser usually only destroys the missile tracking sensors so it tumbles and self-destructs. Sensor protection is the main countermeasure and it's usually easier to make the sensor more robust than to increase laser power. It's a lot harder to protect the entire missile from the kinetic energy of a 20mm DU round @ 3,000 rounds per minute.

#### alfacliff

Joined Dec 13, 2013
2,458
one of these days, they will discover that if you coat your target with a mirror coating, the laser does nothing to it. lasers depend of absorption of energy.