Military Review

American Marines will have laser support weapons

As the U.S. Navy prepares to deploy its first shipborne laser system later this summer, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is working to create an affordable alternative to traditional firepower to successfully combat low-flying and stealthy targets like enemy drones. This installation should provide the ability to cover the actions of the American Marines on land. The program for the development of a laser system designed for installation on ground vehicles is in full swing. This program was called GBAD - ground-based mobile air defense system based on direct energy transfer.

First laser tests weapons the US Navy’s sea-based base is expected to be held this summer, the installation will be mounted on the landing craft USS Ponce, which currently serves in the Persian Gulf. Here the ship is used to carry out humanitarian missions and search for mines. Created in the United States, the laser machine was designated LaWS. It was used semiconductor laser. The installation is designed to defeat UAVs and enemy missiles, as well as other small air targets. At least 32 million dollars were spent on the development of this combat laser, while the costs of the program will continue to decrease. At the same time, it was noted that one LaWS impulse costs just a dollar, while the launch of a modern short-range interceptor missile costs the taxpayers 1,4 a million dollars.

American Marines will have laser support weapons

For the successful implementation of the Directed Energy ground defense system (known as Directed Energy), which is known as GBAD, the Naval Research Authority has established interaction with the Dalgren Marine Combat Center, as well as industry-specific development partners GBAD components, including the laser installation itself, batteries, beam guide, communication systems, cooling and command and control, radar. The GBAD system being developed should be easily installed on tactical light tactical vehicles, which include the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and the famous Humvee.

The command of the US Marine Corps believes that with the increasing proliferation of unmanned technology, the marines will in the future increasingly have to defend themselves against an adversary who attempts to actively monitor and reconnoiter them from the air. The technologies created under the GBAD program are a direct response to modern challenges and threats in strategic terms, as well as a mobile weapon of directed energy, which is able to eliminate some of the existing threats, in particular, to neutralize enemy drones. Some of the components of this system have already been used for testing purposes to detect and track unmanned aerial vehicles of various sizes. Already in 2014, the US military expects to test the entire system in the complex. We are talking about testing ground-based laser with a power of 10 kW, which should be just one more step towards creating a more powerful 30-kilowatt combat laser.

Tests of an air defense laser unit with a power of 30 kW are planned to be held in 2016. At this point, it will be ready for trial operation. Then the system will move to more complex trials in order to ensure a smooth transition from the detection and tracking of air targets to live combat firing directly from tactical vehicles in service with the US Army.

Colonel William Zamani, who holds the post of head of the development department of the US Navy, notes that the likely opponents of America will be very actively using UAVs, so the expeditionary forces must be prepared to repel such threats. According to him, GBAD will allow marines to feel protected from enemy drones, and in the future will be able to solve a much wider range of tasks. At the same time, at the present stage of technology development, the US military sees GBAD not as the main weapon for combat units, but as an auxiliary anti-aircraft weapon. The undoubted advantages of mobile laser defense systems, they include the lack of ammunition as such and high speed. By installing a GBAD laser on the chassis of the Humvee army vehicle (in Russia it is often called the Hummer, named for the civilian version), the military will be able to get a very mobile and mobile anti-aircraft gun, which will significantly increase the ability to protect military formations from external threats. Such self-propelled laser systems should be able to fire directly in motion.

According to freely available information, the GBAD laser system should weigh no more than 2,5 thousands of pounds (approximately 1,1 tons). It is planned to be mounted on light tactical cars JLTV, which in the future will completely replace the Humvee armored vehicles. The installation will be designed to hit air targets at a short distance with the help of a laser beam of power up to 30 kW. It is reported that each “shot” of the installation will be continuous and will last up to 2 minutes, after which it will be necessary to recharge the installation. On the implementation of the recharge is given no more than 20 minutes of time. During this time, the battery level should reach at least 80%.

Such limitations on the time of firing and reloading are due to the fact that it is not possible to ensure the continuity of operation of a laser mounted on light tactical machines. Therefore, it is planned to implement the option with the accumulation of the required capacity. But even so, the specialists have yet to solve the existing problem with the cooling system of the laser system, which will take up quite a lot of space. At the same time, the Pentagon is confident in the successful implementation of the project to create a mobile laser air defense system. If the project proves successful, a reliable and inexpensive laser may appear on the battlefield, which will be suitable for hitting an enemy UAV. To solve this problem, the laser is best suited, since the laser system has the highest shooting accuracy, almost zero collateral damage and low cost of the shot itself.

Radar company RADA Electronic Industries

Currently, you can not find so much specifics on the composition of the mobile laser system. Nevertheless, the network has information that the Office of Research of the US Navy picked up a radar for her. The choice was made in favor of a radar system with an active phased antenna array - AFAR RPS-42 produced by the Israeli company RADA Electronic Industries. Thus, the GBAD program, aimed at the development of a short-range air defense laser complex based on a light vehicle capable of firing in motion, is overgrown with details. It is reported that this air defense system will be able to hit radar and visually unobtrusive aerial targets.

The tactical radar RPS-42 with AFAR is able to detect, track and classify even micro and mini drones located at a distance of 10 kilometers. This radar is able to accurately track threats when operating in motion and at sufficiently large elevation angles. In addition to the UAVs, this radar is able to work on targets such as mines, artillery shells, short-range missiles, helicopters and airplanes.

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  1. Bigfoot_Sev
    Bigfoot_Sev 19 June 2014 10: 02
    laser avanger. hmm. I do not understand. they took and removed one block of stingers from the avanger, added a laser and ... .50 a machine gun !!!

    why am i surprised
    ok, used to do with two blocks of rockets. Let's say a UAV missile shoots down expensively and unsuccessfully. They used a machine gun. they put a machine gun and a laser, saying that the laser was cheap. I don’t even get into the technical features of laser shooting that are given.
    I do not understand the economy already at the installation level.

    Still surprising is the stinger launch cost in the article - 1.4 million dollars. come on! English Wikipedia says 38k greens apiece. someone lied!
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 19 June 2014 10: 50
      UAV scouts fly high, no machine gun can reach.
      And not every MANPADS.

      1.4 million dollars - this is not about MANPADS, but near-range SAMs,
      such as on the Shell.
      1. Bigfoot_Sev
        Bigfoot_Sev 19 June 2014 11: 42
        rocket? one 1.4 million? how are two tomahawks?
        installation costs so much. You can’t trust anyone, you have to check everything yourself.

        about the laser all the same did not convince. for ... there were 8 stingers, at a distance of 5 km. left 4. added a laser. and a machine gun. I do not understand the Nafeyhua laser in this kit, if there is already a good set.
        kstaaaati. they put a 25mm gun for the laser avanger ... I don’t understand them.
        1. fennekRUS
          fennekRUS 19 June 2014 13: 23
          I agree, the article sounds menacingly, but it puzzles me from the very first digits. And another momentic (quote) -probable opponents of America will be very actively use UAVs What is it!!?? Americans are going to fight with Israel? It seems that there are not so many armies "actively using" UAVs
        2. bmv04636
          bmv04636 19 June 2014 22: 36
          and the laser instead of color music or pointers will shoot down either with a rocket or a machine gun
  2. AVV
    AVV 19 June 2014 10: 46
    How will this laser work in the sands of the Sahara where there are sandstorms? How will the laser respond to a flock of unguided missiles launched from a helicopter? How will the laser beam react to a target rotating at a greater angular speed ??? Yes, and the range of the beam is very small !!! So the game is not worth the candle! Let them saw the Pentagon budget! All the shortcomings of such a system have long been known, you can bring a dozen more !!! And the real battle will show everything !!!
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 19 June 2014 12: 46
      1) UAVs (and aircraft) do not fly into sandstorms.
      2) From the salvo of NURs, the laser will have time to burn a part - also
      not bad. Less ground casualties.
      3) A rotating target takes longer to burn through,
      but the warhead manages to detonate.
      All this has already been tested experimentally.
      Laser shot, with all the restrictions you listed correctly
      and disadvantages, much cheaper than a missile shot.
      Therefore, in tactical air defense will combine 1) SAM, 2) rapid-fire
      guns and 3) a laser depending on weather conditions, distance, quantity
      goals. The decision is made by the comp according to the ratio of efficiency / price of a shot.
      1. fennekRUS
        fennekRUS 19 June 2014 13: 26
        NUR laser will have time to burn part - too
        not bad. Less ground loss. (S) - in 2 seconds? with a half hour recharge? I’m afraid I won’t have a second shot.
        but the warhead manages to detonate. (c) - the warhead does not detonate from heating
        in tactical air defense they will combine (s) - here I agree with all this 200%
        ps against the overwhelming majority of drones, KVM is more effective than a cloud of submunitions on a course, A simple ballistic missile with a powerful fragmentation warhead (a kind of mega "frog"), because they are fragile.
      2. psiho117
        psiho117 21 June 2014 00: 42
        Quote: voyaka uh
        Laser shot, with all the restrictions you listed correctly
        and disadvantages, much cheaper than a missile shot.

        Yah? My friend, and you do not dissemble? Or do you only consider the cost of kilowatts? Without the cost of production \ operation \ R&D?

        To defeat low-speed low-flying scouts (and a laser installed on the basis of the HMMVV can only hit them, it will not have enough power - tea is not a ship) cheap NURs with remote detonation are best suited. as in World War II - an airplane will not run away from them anyway.
  3. shikhtman
    shikhtman 19 June 2014 11: 25
    The entire military history of mankind is a struggle between a sword and a shield. I am not a specialist, but I can assume that the mirror color of the UAV will neutralize the laser beam cheaply and angrily.
    1. Kir
      Kir 19 June 2014 22: 18
      Well, there is no 100% reflective surface, but protection does exist (at least it was developed by Us-USSR, and most importantly for Cosmos, where the laser is much more efficient).
  4. Manager
    Manager 19 June 2014 11: 35
    Yes, this is garbage. According to the BBC, about 7 years ago they still showed it. Nemereno energy eats, and is effective only against a small number of enemy manpower. Actually the machine gun is no worse.
    1. Maksim...
      Maksim... 19 June 2014 12: 45
      It is assumed that the main purpose of such lasers will be small red-light drones.
      PS Interesting, but can a water installation combine a laser radar and a combat laser?
      1. Manager
        Manager 19 June 2014 13: 11
        Quote: Maxim ...
        I wonder if it is possible to combine a laser radar and a combat laser in a water installation?

        It seems to be doing so.
  5. Vend
    Vend 19 June 2014 12: 00
    I'm certainly not a physicist, but doesn’t the laser beam deflect using a mirror? And if so, then the sense of this weapon. And if my memory serves me right, laser weapons were used by the USSR in a conflict with China.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 19 June 2014 14: 28
      Of course, rejected. And you can mirror paint
      to paint. Wrap foil.
      Only such laser protection will lead to increased
      vulnerabilities from other weapons.
      Let me explain: the reconnaissance UAV is almost silent, painted "in the color of the sky",
      made with stealth elements (shape and coating) for
      reduced radar visibility.
      And here is mirror paint, foil, reflectors ... a laser
      he will "beat off", and other types of disguise are covered.
      1. Vend
        Vend 19 June 2014 16: 58
        No, well, this is understandable, I'm talking about disguise. I think while the Americans launch this weapon, ours have already come up with a chameleon camouflage.
  6. sled beach
    sled beach 19 June 2014 12: 34
    After watching the doc film BBC Top Secret Weapons Revealed (2012), it seemed that Americans love all kinds of dibble designs on which you can quickly cut the dough from their government.
    1. korol yasheriz
      korol yasheriz 19 June 2014 20: 20
      Apparently, it is.
    2. Kir
      Kir 19 June 2014 22: 23
      And at the same time to create a myth about their unique technical creativity, and at the same time to build a financial pyramid, and then the standard one did not work out for independent circumstances.
  7. yurik
    yurik 19 June 2014 13: 23
    quite a serious weapon and, as always, ours do not underestimate it. the laser gun, if it doesn’t set the UAV on fire, can be used as a means of guiding anti-aircraft missiles, and then it can complete the machine gun. another combination is possible: simultaneous firing of a machine gun and a laser at an air target. I think with a laser gun it is possible to display the optics of attack helicopters and then use a missile and a machine gun. In general, this can be said of a new generation of anti-aircraft systems. What prevents equipping the Shell with the same laser
    1. Bigfoot_Sev
      Bigfoot_Sev 19 June 2014 14: 18
      Quote: yurik
      quite a serious weapon and, as always, ours do not underestimate it. the laser gun, if it doesn’t set the UAV on fire, can be used as a means of guiding anti-aircraft missiles, and then it can complete the machine gun. another combination is possible: simultaneous firing of a machine gun and a laser at an air target. I think with a laser gun it is possible to display the optics of attack helicopters and then use a missile and a machine gun. In general, this can be said of a new generation of anti-aircraft systems. What prevents equipping the Shell with the same laser

      what the avanger is good for is that until he spits a rocket on you and you find out that he is lurking nearby.
      but a laser pointer is a laser pointer. it will not burn with a laser in half a second. not yet able.
      Well, in general, I found a video
      early version of laser avanger.
      after I dig deeper into the network a little more and everything turned out to be simple.

      In 2005, several avangers from pure air defense were transferred to a certain format of ground support. To do this, they removed the right block of missiles and put a machine gun. subsequently added a laser for remote disassembly with explosive devices and unexploded ordnance. see video clip. no laser air defense, range of a kilowatt laser 400 meters, operating time ... better to see.
      Now it seems decided to put 10 kW (more, further, stronger) and return the role of air defense. very funny metamorphosis.
  8. Free wind
    Free wind 19 June 2014 17: 18
    For many, here is the phrase, drank attendants. has become a mantra, repeating it, many hang in nirvana. Development-drank attendants, opening-drank attendants, drawing-drank attendants, weapons-drank attendants, not tired? Lasers are serious weapons and should not be underestimated. Of course the mirrors reflect the laser beam. but imagine a soldier on the battlefield. all shiny, like Verka Serdyuchka. And besides, it puffs a beekeeping smokehouse in front of it, the smoke also weakens the laser. And the USSR, in its time, was, one might say, ahead of everyone in the field of lasers. research was conducted not only as a weapon. but also as a means of transferring energy without wires. I remember reading in the 80s, perhaps all the energy of the Bratsk hydroelectric power station, with the help of a laser, can be laid in a circle with a diameter of 2 meters, on the ... Moon. ISKRA-1989 was created in the USSR in 5. the most powerful laser at that time. In general, laugh at the drank of attendants. But already at 100 meters a cheap toy "green laser" can make a person visually impaired.
  9. Signaller
    Signaller 19 June 2014 17: 31
    30 kW is you imagine how much ???? These are 15 kettles with a capacity of 2 kW. Pennies. Oh fool us, oh fool, Raikin would say, but I would add cheap fool.
    1. Free wind
      Free wind 19 June 2014 18: 20
      By electric welding, with a power of 5 kW, atomic icebreakers are being built. And they cut her.
  10. Observer2014
    Observer2014 20 June 2014 00: 49
    Another American "technological" high-budget gadget, but in fact it costs a penny to counteract, oh, how you want to drag Russia into a crazy new arms race. I have spoken for a long time and I will say a wagon of Balts and nuts into orbit and welcome for at least 200 years to the last century! And let them continue to crucify.
    1. psiho117
      psiho117 21 June 2014 00: 49
      this feature was good in the 70s, when the Union did not have an orbital group.
      Now, however, bolts and nuts will strike us, and our allies and neutrals. This will drop 25 years (and not 200), and not only Matrasia, but the entire planet.
      and yes, what does the mobile laser have to do with the idea of ​​orbital shrapnel?
      Another thing is that laser air defense on the HMMVV platform - really drank dough, and at the moment the development of technology - is unrealistic. But with ship-based - yes.
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 21 June 2014 01: 06
        "It's a different matter that the laser air defense on the HMMVV platform - really drank some dough and
        at the moment of technology development - unrealistic "

        You probably find it hard to believe, but laser tactical air defense will come to a stand in Israel
        in the next 1915. Iron Dome batteries will include a laser like
        described in the article. But not at the Humvee base, but on a larger truck. The laser is already successful
        passed the test. His task is to bring down mortar mines and the smallest homemade
        rockets of fighters. It uses the existing radar and the OMS of the Iron Dome.
        1. psiho117
          psiho117 24 June 2014 19: 03
          Quote: voyaka uh
          Iron Dome batteries will include a laser similar to the one described in the article. But not at the Humvee base, but on a larger truck. The laser has already been successfully tested. Its task is to shoot down mortar mines and the smallest home-made militant rockets

          I will believe in shooting down "Kassams", but not in mortar mines.
          I have no information about your laser, but in light of the close cooperation of the Israeli military-industrial complex with the American one, I do not think that it is that much different from the ADAM complex developed by Lockheed Martin. Or its German counterpart. They both have 10kW of power, and are designed primarily to defeat NURs, self-propelled Qassam missiles and drones - i.e. "plywood" purposes. The defeat of mortar mines (not to mention artillery shells) is recognized as a task for the future. Any physicist will explain to you that the impact of a 10 kW laser on a thick-walled cast-iron shell of a mine for 1-2 seconds will not lead to any significant rez-there ... I generally keep quiet about a much faster and "thicker" artillery shell.

          But there is also a distance factor - the maximum range of damage in clear weather is 2 km in range and 1 km in height, this at a cost of installation at least comparable to a "full" air defense missile system (and maybe more expensive).
          1. voyaka uh
            voyaka uh 24 June 2014 20: 52
            And mortar mines, and Grad rockets, and even artillery shells
            already safely strayed with a Nautilus laser complex at a US training ground
            more than 10 years ago. But the decision was made in favor of the rocket
            The iron dome, as more universal in distance and all-weather.
            And money for two systems at the same time. Min There was no defense.
            Now that the Iron Dome is deployed in the form of 5-6 batteries, it has appeared
            the ability to cover a "hole" with a laser at short distances up to 4 km.
            (homemade Kassam, by the way, is harder to shoot down than the factory Grad, since
            the first one has a non-ballistic trajectory due to the randomly welded nozzles
            and stabilizers)
            1. psiho117
              psiho117 24 June 2014 21: 49
              Well, God forbid)) I don't like the idea of ​​shelling the civilian Israeli population with the Qasams any more than yours. And if Israel succeeds in really embodying "in hardware" the world's first laser anti-aircraft missile defense installation, I will only rejoice at the scientific and technological progress.

              But ...
              to the question
              Quote: voyaka uh
              cover a "hole" with a laser at short distances up to 4 km
              Due to the dispersion of the hole. of a beam in the atmosphere, the power gain should be proportional to the square of the distance, and if you have a 2 kW laser for shooting at 10 km (and the military claims that this power is insufficient, and plan to replace 100 kW), then for shooting at 4 km you will need not 200 kW but 1000. Alas, this is Physics.

              All this I write to the fact that the existing technical base, although it allows you to create a fairly powerful manhole. installations, the issue of acceptable dimensions and the power supply system of these installations has not yet been resolved.
              1. voyaka uh
                voyaka uh 24 June 2014 22: 27
                I am not a physicist. But at Rafael (not to be confused with a French firm)
                developing these lasers, there are enough people with a doctorate in physics. And not the most
                seedy, and post-doctorates in Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford. Many with Russian roots.
                And before making iron, the engineers consult with them - but are we prematurely against physics?
                So far, Raphael has never failed with advanced weapons. We will see.
  11. I think so
    I think so 21 June 2014 22: 05
    Another "bullet" ... Well, maybe some paper or plywood drone from a kilometer away this "wunderwolf" can shoot down, but it's too early to talk about a serious danger for flying objects ... True, the use of this weapon against ground targets is not ruled out ... tanks (blinding the crew) and other observation posts ... yes, yes, I agree it will be cool ... but as an air defense and missile defense system, it is not necessary to speak yet ...