Laser Gun Tests
April 12, 2011 by USA Post
Laser Gun Tests, U.S. Navy has fired a laser gun mounted on a warship, zapping – and ignite – an empty boat as it bobbed in the Pacific Ocean. The demonstration of the test, compared to Southern California, near San Nicolas Island could be the beginning of a new era in Navy weapons, authorities said.
“This is very important for future weapon systems of the Navy,” said Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, head of the Office of Naval Research. “By turning energy into a weapon, we become more efficient.”
The laser system built by Northrop Grumman Corp. could someday be used against cruise missiles, enemy aircraft and even ballistic missiles, Carr said.
“In the distant future, I can imagine a day when this technology is equipped cruisers and destroyers,” he said.
The laser power can be “reduced”; the Navy offered a non-lethal alternative to protect against threats such as hackers, terrorists and smugglers with a blast of intense heat, Carr said.
In testing last week, the laser gun was mounted on the deck of the Navy destroyer Paul retired from breeding. The gun went off course in a small glass.
A test video, released by the Office of Naval Research, shows a spark in a motorboat destination, as shocks in the ocean. Within seconds the ship engulfed in flames. It was a milestone, because all previous tests of the laser were on the ground, Carr said.
The video does not show the laser and the distance was the goal for safety reasons, Carr said.
Carr said the technology was still years away from being used in combat.
For years, technical problems have affected the development of a solid-state laser weapon that generates energy beams using electricity by running electrons through solid materials such as crystals or glass.
Northrop won one and 98 million contracts in July 2009 to get a gun.
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