Speaking about the latest achievements of the domestic defense industry, V. Putin recalled advanced foreign projects. It is well known that a number of foreign states are currently working on promising models of weapons using so-called new physical principles. According to the president, there is every reason to believe that in this area, Russia is one step ahead of the competition. In any case, in the right areas.
The President pointed to the achievement of significant results in the field of laser weapons. At the same time, this is not about the theoretical elaboration of ideas, the creation of projects or the beginning of mass production. The newest Russian laser complex is already being delivered to the troops. The first systems of this kind were transferred to the units last year.
V. Putin did not wish to disclose the details of the new project and clarify the main characteristics or capabilities of the promising weapon. Nevertheless, he noted that experts will understand the consequences of the emergence of such systems. The presence of laser combat systems will multiply expand the country's capabilities in ensuring its security.
Like several other newest weapons presented on the first day of spring, the combat laser complex does not yet have its own name. In this regard, the head of state invited everyone to come up with their own versions of the name for this system. The Ministry of Defense has launched a special Internet service, with which you can offer your version of the name for a combat laser and other new systems.
The next day, V.Putin spoke at the Vth Media Forum of the All-Russian Popular Front in Kaliningrad, and within the framework of this event he again raised the issue of advanced weapons. He called the combat laser fiction, which, however, was realized in reality. The president compared this product with the hyperboloid of engineer Garin from the work of the same name A.N. Tolstoy.
Not the longest story of V. Putin about the combat laser complex was illustrated with a video. For some reason, the demo video turned out to be quite short and lasted the entire second 21. Unlike other commercials, this time they showed only the complex on the march, during deployment and in combat position. Frames of the use of this weapon, with real shooting or computer graphics, were not given. However, in this form the movie is quite interesting and gives certain information.
The demonstration of the combat laser complex began with the personnel of the system on the march. Two saddle tractors with semi-trailers of a special configuration got into the lens. Further, during the deployment of the system, a greater number of equipment was present at the site. Next to the combat vehicle carrying the laser, there were some other samples of special equipment with this or that auxiliary equipment.
Of particular interest are personnel from the control center of the complex. The audience was shown several monitors, including those with the captions “ARM-1” and “ARM-2” (probably, “automated workplace” with numbers), as well as some kind of equipment rack. The complex controls include a computer-type keyboard, a control knob, and an obscure unit. At the workplace there are handsets from the composition of communication systems.
The video ends with a demonstration of the actual laser installation. The device characteristic appearance showed the work of horizontal and vertical guidance systems. The equipment worked with installed or removed plugs, as well as with different positions of the movable protective cover. "Shooting" at targets, however, was not shown.
The official video from the Ministry of Defense shows that several cars are part of the combat laser complex. Most likely, in addition to the carrier of the combat module, the complex includes control and communication machines, a mobile power station and other elements. The joint work of all these samples should ensure the solution of the assigned combat missions. For obvious reasons, the semi-trailer with a laser installation is of the greatest interest now.
The combat laser and its equipment are distinguished by their large size and weight, which is why they were installed on a semi-trailer with a five-axle undercarriage. In the center and at the stern of the semi-trailer there are four electric jacks. With their help, obviously, the semi-trailer should be hung out and leveled before the combat work.
The front part of the semi-trailer with a laser, located above the fifth wheel coupling of the tractor, is equipped with a medium-sized casing accommodating certain auxiliary systems. Grilles on the sides of the casing and ventilation caps on the roof may hint at the composition of the internal equipment. The main platform carries two large container cases. In front is a smaller, accommodating equipment. The laser machine is located in the rear, characterized by increased length and more complex external contours.
The front half of the rear container has the maximum possible cross-section. Behind it, the sides and the roof form a smaller enclosure. The fact is that in the stern of the container a laser installation is placed, and above it there is a sliding roof. The unit of the U-shaped configuration with folding rear doors in preparation for the work moves forward and runs into the body section with smaller dimensions. This ensures the free operation of the laser system without restrictions on the angles of guidance.
In the stern of the semitrailer, under the protection of the sides and the sliding roof, there is the laser installation itself. It is based on a U-shaped support device without the possibility of rotation around a vertical axis. A large block of close to rectangular shape is swinging on this support in the vertical plane. On one of its walls there is a mount for the unit with the target equipment with the function of rotation. Two swivels allow the laser to be guided in any direction.
The upper unit of the installation received a case of rather complex shape with a cut off front part and a cylindrical rear section. On the left side of the hull there are two tubular housings of different sizes for the equipment. The forward inclined cut of the body is covered with a movable cover. In the stowed position, it lies on the sides, in the combat position it rises and allows the use of internal equipment. Side cylindrical covers are equipped with removable covers.
Any information about the device and the internal units of the laser system is missing. It can be assumed that the laser emitter itself is located in the larger case, and it is his work that provides the rising cover. The side tubes in this case must accommodate optical-electronic means of observation, detection and tracking. The type of laser and its technical characteristics remain unknown. At best, they will only be published in the future.
In his Address to the Federal Assembly, the President announced only the fact of the existence of a nameless laser complex, and did not disclose details. In particular, the purpose of this product remains unknown. One can only guess where, how and why it is planned to use mobile systems with laser armament. Certain estimates and projections are already known, but, as expected, they may not receive confirmation in the future.
A laser of rather modest dimensions and, accordingly, not of the highest power, having developed guidance means in two planes, may look like a promising air defense system. Indeed, a combat laser of sufficient power can be a convenient means of countering manned and unmanned aviation the enemy. In this case, most likely, this is not about the physical destruction of the target, but about its incapacitation.
Modern combat aircraft and UAVs are equipped with a variety of optical-electronic systems designed for conducting reconnaissance, target detection and weapons use. A laser beam of sufficient power can damage the photosensitive elements of the optics and disable them, at least for a while. As a result, the plane or drone will lose some of its functions and will not be able to continue the task.
However, nothing prevents to make a more courageous assumption and consider the combat laser complex as a means of defeating equipment or weapons. In theory, a high-power laser beam is capable of transmitting thermal energy to an object and provoking its destruction. Having melted the body of the target, the laser will be able to blow up the missile warhead, cause a fuel to ignite, or burn the aircraft electronics in every sense. This use of laser weapons has been developed over several decades, and it cannot be ruled out that the newest project does not develop such ideas.
Regardless of the specific method of application, goals and objectives, a laser complex for military purposes may have some special advantages that distinguish it favorably from other systems of a similar purpose. So, acting as a means of opto-electronic suppression, the laser is the only system. All existing systems to combat tactical or unmanned aircraft use other principles. The removal of the aircraft out of action, they "prefer" complete destruction. Obviously, damage to electronics removes the aircraft from the battle is much easier and faster than a full-fledged attack using guided missiles or artillery.
If the new complex is equipped with a sufficiently powerful laser capable of melting down the structural elements of aircraft equipment, then it can be an interesting competitor for existing short-range anti-aircraft systems. It should be recalled that the transfer of thermal energy by means of a beam is associated with some problems. First of all, a long-term impact on the target may be necessary to obtain the desired result. In addition, various factors may interfere with the successful heating of the object, up to weather conditions.
Having certain limitations, the anti-aircraft laser complex can be cheaper to operate than its rocket rival. Each guided missile hitting a selected target has a relatively high cost. The price of a “shot” of a laser installation is hundreds and thousands of times less, which, incidentally, is accompanied by a higher cost of the complex itself. Thus, for the most efficient use of combat laser systems as part of air defense and to obtain the best economic results, it is necessary to develop new methods and solutions.
One of the main problems on the way the creators of combat lasers is power supply. High power laser needs adequate power. The published video shows that next to the semi-trailer of the nameless laser machine, the second machine from the complex is located at the position. Products are connected to each other with a large number of cables. This clearly indicates that the electric generator could not be placed on the same chassis with a laser, and therefore it is made as a separate element of the complex.
Separate placement of the generator set has already become the pretext for the wildest assumptions. In the discussions of the complex, a version was proposed on the use of a compact nuclear power plant, issuing sufficient power. An indirect confirmation of this version is the achievements in other areas, also announced by V. Putin. A new compact atomic system of sufficient power, suitable for installation on small-sized underwater vehicles, has already been tested and verified. However, all this, rather, is the fruit of a bold fantasy, and not the result of real work.
The President of Russia clarified that a promising combat laser complex is already being produced and is being sent to the troops. The first systems of this type were transferred to the armed forces last year. Obviously, the assembling of the complexes will continue, and in the foreseeable future, the air defense units (if this is really an anti-aircraft system) will master a significant amount of such equipment. Supplies will have a noticeable effect on the defense potential of the troops, and at the same time on the defense capability of the country as a whole.
Unfortunately, specialists and amateurs of military equipment, in his speech, Vladimir Putin did not disclose the most interesting features of a promising laser complex. However, the public has not remained completely out of work. As it turned out, the combat laser and a number of other promising types of weapons still do not have a name. The military and political leadership of the country did not resolve this issue on their own and turned to the people for help. Anyone can come up with their own designations for new weapons, including for the combat laser complex.
In his speech addressed to the Federal Assembly, but of great interest to the whole country and abroad, President Vladimir Putin described several of the latest weapons and equipment. In these developments, fundamentally new devices and approaches have been implemented that literally change the rules of the game. One of the ways to drastically change the situation was the combat laser complex. This system, even without having received its own name, already enters the troops and makes a certain contribution to the security of the country.