Military Review

Are there prospects for a military laser?

41
Combat lasers gained fame long before scientists created the first operational samples. For a long time, science fiction writers, including the famous Russian writer Alexei Nikolaevich Tolstoy, have been playing for scientists and technical progress. His science fiction novel “The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin” was ahead of decades of scientific progress. Today, all that science fiction writers wrote about at the beginning of the 20th century is becoming true. Lasers from weapons fantastic things are getting closer to the weapon absolutely material. But even now in 2019, the question of whether there is a real prospect for military lasers is still relevant.




Laser weapons - the weapon of the future


The greatest successes in creating their own laser weapons today have been Russia, the United States and China. Moreover, many countries of the world have such developments, including Israel, Great Britain, Germany, France and many other states. Many military experts call laser weapons one of the most promising types of weapons that can significantly change the tactics and course of military operations in the 21st century. Some experts even agree that the offensive capabilities of laser weapons can be unlimited.

According to Alexander Mikhailov, the head of the Bureau of Military-Political Analysis, laser weapons will become a frequently used army tool, if not in the coming years, then in the medium term. Already, laser technologies are very widely used by the military of different countries for targeting guided aerial bombs and missiles, blinding optical instruments and homing heads, in active defense systems and tracking threats to various military equipment, in range finders and sights. With the development of energy carriers and technologies, the use of combat lasers will grow, with time they will be used on land, on water, in the sky and near space.

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the XNUMXst century, laser weapons will determine the combat potential of the Russian armed forces: the army and fleet. This was announced by the president as part of a meeting on military topics that took place on May 17, 2019. Putin voiced the fact that until recently, combat lasers that can be effectively used on a tactical level could only be found on the pages of science fiction books, and today they already exist in practice. Also, Vladimir Putin spoke about the need for practical testing of the Russian Peresvet laser complex, noting that the modern implementation of various projects and programs in the field of laser weapons in Russia is very important.


The complex of Russian laser weapons "Peresvet"


According to Alexander Mikhailov, in the future, laser weapons will open up the possibility for the military to defeat spacecraft located in the orbit of our planet and disable satellites for various purposes. Promising is the possibility of using combat lasers, as one of the damaging factors in aerial combat, this can change Aviation and expand the capabilities of its combat use.

According to Russian specialists, the help of lasers on the battlefield is a real future, and the armed forces, who will be the first to acquire full-fledged combat lasers, will provide themselves with a serious advantage. For example, in aviation, lasers can be used to effectively defend and intercept air-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guided missiles, and aircraft will eventually become less vulnerable to enemy air defenses. In the case of aviation, as well as with ground-based military equipment, we can talk about the laser suppression of optical-electronic missile guidance systems, not necessarily about their destruction and destruction by a laser beam. Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor Viktor Viktorovich Apollonov believes that the development of laser technology and laser weapons is of crucial importance, first of all, for Russia. For our country, combat lasers can be a good and effective asymmetric response to the superiority of NATO countries in the field of precision weapons and their massive use.

As simply as possible, this can be described by the fact that the more technologically advanced enemy, instead of using a huge number of pigs that fit the areas, will use single, but more expensive and accurate ammunition, hitting previously selected or detected targets. Such a principle was implemented during strikes against Yugoslavia, during hostilities in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The opposition to this can be a laser weapon, which absolutely does not make any difference what to hit: an archaic artillery or mortar shell worth a couple of hundred dollars or a missile worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In this case, the number of high-precision ammunition on board the carrier, whether it be an airplane or a ship, is limited, and their total cost is hundreds of times higher than the cost of the most expensive shot of a laser weapon. In this regard, laser weapons are really the weapons of the future, a weapon that can change everything.


Experimental laser on board an American ship


The challenges that laser weapons face


Certainly, the laser weapon for many decades has taken a step forward. But, as before, there are nuances of using such weapons. Experts still call the main limiting factors for laser installations: weather conditions and atmospheric phenomena (snow, rain, heavy clouds, fog); heterogeneity of the Earth’s atmosphere and its scattering properties; large energy consumption of the shot; the ability to hit targets that are only in direct view (no obstacles and terrain). According to experts, the loss of intensity of the laser beam as it passes through the earth’s atmosphere can reach 80%, depending on the specific atmospheric conditions outside the window and the laser wavelength, losses occur due to scattering and absorption effects. Therefore, it is very difficult to achieve high efficiency of laser installations when operating on remote objects. It is necessary to create more powerful lasers.

In the USSR, research was actively conducted in this area, mathematical models were created, and various experiments were carried out. A great deal of attention was indeed paid to the development of laser weapons, and tests were carried out on airborne, land-based and sea-based laser systems. Moreover, in those years, space was called one of the most suitable media for the use of laser weapons. It was not by chance that in the second half of the 1980s in the USSR, the development of a unique orbital Skif laser platform, on which ideally it was planned to install a gas-dynamic laser with an output of approximately 100 kW, was carried out quite actively.

As noted in an interview with RIA News Andrei Grigoriev, who is the head of the Russian Advanced Research Foundation, developing laser weapons turned out to be much more difficult than originally thought. When work was just beginning both in the Soviet Union and in the USA they believed that a new weapon could be a solution to many problems: it does not require ammunition, it quickly reaches its goal. But as a result, everything turned out to be much more complicated. According to Grigoriev, weapons built “on new physical principles” are in fact weapons “on old physical principles” that were worked out half a century ago. According to the specialist, he does not expect any special breakthroughs in the field of creating laser weapons in the coming years. Grigoriev noted that the situation with combat lasers is somewhat similar to the program for creating a thermonuclear reactor, which many countries, including Russia, work together to create. “As soon as they start the next thermonuclear reactor program, they promise to solve all the problems in the coming 50 years, they are already solving 50 years, and 50 years are going to solve them,” the head of the Advanced Research Foundation summarized.


Helicopter with the established aviation complex of individual protection "Vitebsk"


True, we should not forget that any technology with which a person works does not turn into successful wands in a short period of time. Technologies that become truly breakthrough often mature very long and the process of their improvement takes decades. For example, this is what happened with aviation. Ideas to build a plane and attempts to do so were carried out throughout the second half of the 19th century, but the first flight took place only at the end of 1903, and before the planes became a formidable weapon and an effective means of transporting goods and passengers, more than a dozen years passed. It’s still premature to bury a laser weapon, who knows how soon it will make the jump that will transfer it from the category of the first Wright brothers to a formidable weapon capable of seriously influencing the outcome of battles.

Even now, laser weapons are already quite effective, although only at a tactical level. For example, in the United States, not so long ago, they successfully tested their versions of ship-based lasers, which are able to hit small drones, as well as boats. Do not forget that laser weapons in all environments can be effectively used to blind the optics and homing heads of various high-precision weapons systems. For example, this is exactly how a modern Russian on-board self-defense complex of aircraft Vitebsk works, which includes the active jamming station L-370-3С. An active jamming station blinds infrared laser radiation to the thermal homing heads of enemy missiles. It is on the principles of laser weapons that active defense systems of various military equipment, including ground-based ones, which divert ATGM, self-guided projectiles and missiles from protected objects, operate. Experts believe that the Russian military laser Peresvet adopted for service can be used exactly for the same tasks, only its power is much higher. Experts believe that the complex is able to effectively dazzle the optics of the GOS of various models of precision weapons, optical systems for target designation and fire control of armored vehicles, optics of modern reconnaissance drones. All this gives us the right to say that the laser weapon certainly has prospects. In one form or another, it has already been successfully used by the military in many countries.
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  1. Ka-52
    Ka-52 11 July 2019 05: 38 New
    +4
    For example, this happened to aviation. Ideas to build an airplane and attempts to do so were carried out throughout the second half of the 1903th century, but the first flight took place only at the end of XNUMX

    not a valid example. In the case of aviation, it has evolved sequentially with the growth of technology and requirements. In the case of lasers (or with the same fusion), fundamental problems must be overcome, without which the laser will remain a bunch that can only drive drones at a distance of several kilometers (and the fusion is a kind of modern reincarnation perpetuum mobile)
    1. Mountain shooter
      Mountain shooter 11 July 2019 08: 10 New
      +1
      Do not demand more from the technology than it can. And wait for miracles. Blinding Drones and GOS - is not enough.
  2. rocket757
    rocket757 11 July 2019 06: 37 New
    0
    We've been watching fiction about laser weapons for a long time .... will be in reality, this is already obvious!
  3. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 11 July 2019 07: 09 New
    0
    The effectiveness of laser guns, even in the future, is very problematic! Already, certain countermeasures are emerging that can reduce the effectiveness of such a laser weapon to an unacceptable value ... Recently, the Chinese announced the creation of "super-heat resistant" ceramics, which will allow them to "fly" at a speed of M = 20! And if after some time will be created "hypermega. Superheated" ceramics? The newest missiles will also be equipped with transverse thrust impulse engines, providing the missiles with "super-maneuverability" ... etc., etc. ! PS Unfortunately, "all" are fixated on a "laser" ... but won't "beam blasters" (high-energy, dense "beams" of electrons, protons, neutrons) turn out to be "suddenly" more effective in the future? what
    1. abrakadabre
      abrakadabre 11 July 2019 08: 01 New
      +4
      but will “beam” blasters (high-energy, dense “beams” of electrons, protons, neutrons) be “suddenly” in the future more effective?
      One of Europe’s newest beam blasters works at CERN. The Large Hadron Collider is called. True, he has some problems with mobility, retargeting and weight ...
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 11 July 2019 10: 09 New
        0
        Quote: abrakadabre
        Large Hadron Collider called. True, he has some problems with mobility, redirection and weight ...

        Well, well ... byvaaeet! yes That's what he and the collider ... he can do anything! winked
      2. Evil echo
        Evil echo 11 July 2019 14: 06 New
        0
        Not a fig not so. According to the latest Ren TV data, there are experiments on modeling the space-time “hole”. Something like this. wassat
    2. kytx
      kytx 11 July 2019 08: 27 New
      0
      Well, why is everyone obsessed with lasers?
      developments on materials and engines were and are underway.
      Just a laser weapon with its hypothetical capabilities is truly a breakthrough in military affairs. The idea of ​​a sizzling ray excites the minds of the military for a long time, only with the implementation so far tight.
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 11 July 2019 10: 12 New
        0
        Quote: kytx
        A laser weapon with its hypothetical capabilities is truly a breakthrough in military affairs.

        So, with the "beam" weapon, the same thing ...
    3. Ka-52
      Ka-52 11 July 2019 09: 10 New
      -2
      but willn’t the “beam” blasters (high-energy, dense “beams” of electrons, protons, neutrons) “suddenly” appear in the future?

      heh, in order to produce a beam with an energy of 1 TeV (1 tera-electron-volt), it will be required to consume almost the same per watt / hour (1 Twatt / hour). And this is approximately 1/6 of the capacity of our largest hydroelectric power station - Sayano-Shushenskaya. And hypothetically, you can shoot such a beam only in a vacuum. Because in the atmosphere, heavy particles are likely to fly a distance from 10cm to 100m.
      1. Vanguard2000
        Vanguard2000 11 July 2019 10: 29 New
        0
        In 2023, the Americans want to test the charged particle accelerator (beam weapons) in space. Can you say something about this?
      2. ser56
        ser56 11 July 2019 12: 51 New
        +3
        Quote: Ka-52
        to produce a beam with an energy of 1 TeV (1 tera-electron-volt), it will be necessary to consume almost the same amount per watt / hour (1 Twatt / hour).

        you have a confusion in terms of:
        1) power and energy! bully
        2) particle energy and particle beam energy ... hi
        1. Ka-52
          Ka-52 12 July 2019 04: 45 New
          +1
          you have a confusion in terms of:
          1) power and energy! bully
          2) particle energy and particle beam energy ... hi

          what is the confusion? Kinetic energy (eU), i.e. energy = mass / speed, measured in electron volts. And it is calculated by the formula T = m (particle mass) * per square velocity / 2
          Power consumed by the booster is measured in watts
          Do you have your own measurement methods that are different from those used everywhere? lol
          1. ser56
            ser56 12 July 2019 12: 26 New
            +3
            Quote: Ka-52
            what is the confusion?

            in knowledge .... request eV is energy. which gets ONE charged particle when passing a potential of 1V ... hi A particle beam can be measured either in particles or in amperes ...
            Quote: Ka-52
            booster device

            accelerator ... repeat
            Quote: Ka-52
            Do you have your own measurement methods that are different from those used everywhere?

            I just know, but you do not ... request
  4. sergo1914
    sergo1914 11 July 2019 09: 47 New
    +2
    I answer the author. There are prospects. The Star Wars saga is proof of that.
  5. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 11 July 2019 10: 40 New
    +1
    Lasers will very soon replace the near air defense at distances of 1-10 km. First, in parallel, and then instead of any Stingers, Carapace and Iron Domes instead. Missile will remain medium and long-range air defense / missile defense
    1. _Ugene_
      _Ugene_ 11 July 2019 11: 59 New
      -1
      but at large distances, the laser has no prospects so far, here, some breakthrough ideas are really needed
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 11 July 2019 12: 34 New
        0
        Only in space, where the atmosphere and curvature of the Earth do not interfere.
        1. ser56
          ser56 11 July 2019 12: 57 New
          0
          Quote: voyaka uh
          Only in space, where the atmosphere and curvature of the Earth do not interfere.

          but there is another problem - maintaining high readiness for use, the adversary will not give out plans ... request
        2. DimanC
          DimanC 11 July 2019 18: 41 New
          0
          Well, yes, is there also laser diffraction in the output window of space?
    2. Ka-52
      Ka-52 11 July 2019 12: 39 New
      +3
      voyaka uh (Alexey) Today, 10: 40
      Lasers will very soon replace near air defense at distances of 1-10 km

      and in fog, with low cloud cover, in a dusty atmosphere and in other conditions that are extremely “favorable” to any radiation, what will your laser air defense do? Will make a helpless gesture "Well, I didn’t smack, I didn’t smack"? laughing
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 11 July 2019 12: 48 New
        +2
        In such adverse weather conditions and the means of attack are also big problems.
        Missiles and lasers will hedge each other.
        If the weather is better - a cheap laser shot, if bad - an expensive rocket shot.
        In addition, we learned how to adjust the frequency of the laser radiation to the density of fog or dust, so that the losses were minimal.
        The Americans conducted exercises near the coast of Florida in conditions of high humidity, sea salt "dust" and fog.
        The laser shot down drones.
    3. ser56
      ser56 11 July 2019 12: 56 New
      0
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Lasers will very soon replace near air defense at distances of 1-10 km

      debatable! A pulsed laser for hitting shells and missiles must have serious power, but for now there are serious problems in generating even powerful short electric pulses, and even conversion into light ... repeat Well, no one canceled a light breakdown of air ... request A cw laser must have a beam retention system on target! And targets can actively maneuver ... hi
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 11 July 2019 13: 02 New
        +3
        "A continuous laser must have a system for holding the beam on the target!" ////
        ----
        There is no problem with this. And there are no problems with power supply.
        Power problem. To burn drones a lot is not necessary -
        2-10 Kt (electric kettle smile ).
        But to bring down a mortar mine in flight, you need about 100 ct.
        1. _Ugene_
          _Ugene_ 11 July 2019 13: 11 New
          0
          exactly, only kW. and not ct., otherwise your power in kilotons has turned out, and this is the TNT equivalent
          1. voyaka uh
            voyaka uh 11 July 2019 13: 27 New
            +3
            drinks This is me straight laser Poseidon invented laughing
        2. ser56
          ser56 11 July 2019 13: 52 New
          0
          Quote: voyaka uh
          There is no problem with this.

          this is if the target does not maneuver ...
          Quote: voyaka uh
          here to bring down a mortar mine in flight you need about 100 ct.

          and 5-6dm shell?
        3. ser56
          ser56 11 July 2019 13: 54 New
          0
          Quote: voyaka uh
          in flight you need about 100 ct.

          it’s better not to shoot down at 1-10km, it’ll come out more expensive ... request
        4. knn54
          knn54 11 July 2019 14: 08 New
          0
          Alexei, is it true that a laser system shot down a hail rocket during tests in the Negev desert in 2002?
          1. voyaka uh
            voyaka uh 11 July 2019 14: 37 New
            0
            The tests were in America at their training ground. Installation Nautilus shot down single Grads, mortar mines and even artillery shells.
            From a salvo of 10 Grad missiles, she managed to bring down 5 pieces.
            There was a heated debate in Israel: what to develop - a rocket system or a laser. They didn’t give money for both. The rocket launchers won. And the Iron Dome was created. It paid off. J.K. has a universal LMS - radar comp. A laser is now connected to it. The development of which resumed several years ago. (But based not on Nautilus, but on another American laser). There are two combat prototypes working for Gaza. It has not been adopted yet.
    4. sergo1914
      sergo1914 11 July 2019 14: 41 New
      -2
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Lasers will very soon replace the near air defense at distances of 1-10 km. First, in parallel, and then instead of any Stingers, Carapace and Iron Domes instead. Missile will remain medium and long-range air defense / missile defense


      I doubt that something can fully replace artillery in the inner circle. 30 mm multi-barrels seem to be forever.
    5. abc_alex
      abc_alex 11 July 2019 20: 23 New
      -1
      Well, with the stinger, you, Warrior, have bent. To create a mobile portable laser gun from which the operator will be able to bring down a fighter from the ground at an altitude of kilometers moving at a speed of more than 1200 km / h? This is not even possible in terms of realizing the shot itself, it is not realizable in terms of aiming and tracking. A person will not be able to make such a shot from the arms or from the shoulder.

      wink

      I don’t really believe in the prospects of a tactical anti-aircraft laser on a wheeled or tracked chassis, since he must see the plane in direct visibility, which is fraught. And the planes are all-weather today, and the laser cannot shoot through the clouds of rain and snow.
      I’m saying that an air defense laser will not be able to shoot down a carrier, it will be forced to shoot down ammunition. Which in itself is a vicious practice, the shooter needs to be shot, not a bullet.
      And not all ammunition can be destroyed by local heating.
  6. Metlik
    Metlik 11 July 2019 12: 33 New
    0
    We have many nuclear facilities: nuclear power plants and icebreakers. If you turn them into strongholds of laser defense, they will protect themselves and the long and medium air defense.
  7. sleeve
    sleeve 11 July 2019 13: 20 New
    -1
    There is no prospect of a military laser as a means of destruction. Only in space.
    1. Sasha_rulevoy
      Sasha_rulevoy 11 July 2019 21: 41 New
      0
      Quote: sleeve
      Only in space


      And in space, the prospects are even less. A station or satellite, which constantly flies in a circular orbit at a speed of 7,9 km / s, has a chance to be one hundred kilometers from a rocket flying along a ballistic trajectory, i.e. first at an angle of 45 degrees up, then at the same angle down, from an unknown starting point to a similarly unknown end point, in a completely different plane, with a different speed is approximately round zero. And at 500 km, the chance is also almost round zero. And in a thousand - too. And then it makes no sense to shoot further thousands, the beam divergence will be so great that the energy density per unit area will be below the harmless level for the enemy apparatus. And if the enemy found money to hire one astronomer with an amateur telescope, he will calculate the flight path of the giant power station in advance and plan the launch by the time this blaster is on the opposite side of the Earth.
  8. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 11 July 2019 15: 59 New
    0
    And the Iron Dome was created. It paid off.

    I tried to calculate the effectiveness of the LCD on the basis of the ratio of the Palestinian missiles that hit the target and launched. Unfortunately, it turned out that after applying the LCD it practically did not change.
  9. oh ...
    oh ... 11 July 2019 18: 19 New
    0
    Already forgot about the Chinese laser pointers, which hooligans blind the pilots of civilian aircraft ...
    And so, if the laser / maser can shoot through the clouds, it will be bad for everyone.
    1. abc_alex
      abc_alex 11 July 2019 20: 35 New
      -1
      Well, the human retina is a very vulnerable thing. It is not easy to disable it for a while, it has long been learned to burn it with a laser. But cases of arson by a Chinese pointer of an airplane have not yet been heard. lol

      The masers are still too large and complicated. Most operate at extremely low temperatures. In 2012, it was said that British scientists created a solid-state maser operating continuously at room temperature, but something has not been heard about it since. And the working fluid there is obtained as a result of some kind of painfully malicious process.
      In addition, metal surfaces perfectly reflect radio waves. Kilowatts of radiation in the radio range are transmitted along the silver waveguide without any harm to them. But lasers of high power melt their optics ...
      1. oh ...
        oh ... 11 July 2019 20: 42 New
        0
        I'm not talking about shooting down with a small laser (which anyone can buy on AUTO), but about the fact that in the clouds of fog this weapon is of little use.
        That's all.
        And don't be smart ...
        Dumb there ...
        1. oh ...
          oh ... 11 July 2019 20: 48 New
          0
          I'm talking about that. And against the laser, armored vehicles have all kinds of “curtains,” and ships have PK10, 25 ...
  10. Maxwrx
    Maxwrx 13 July 2019 04: 07 New
    0
    A laser is a weapon of near air defense and, above all, against drones. The missiles won't go anywhere, and the barrels will leave. I saw a video where they try to hit a drone from several machine guns, the drone flew away, although the bullets passed nearby, it would not fly away from the laser.