U.S. Navy Laser and Rail Guns of the Future

US Navy Laser and Rail Guns of the Future

The United States (U.S.) Navy of the future will use weapons such as lasers, which have already been unveiled, and rail guns that may replace traditional weapons one day, according to reports from various sources. The future may already be here, though, because reports indicate that the U.S. navy laser can already be deployed on a ship and operated by one sole sailor.

The U.S. naval service has always been on the forefront of really amazing technology. The Navy has developed or helped to develop all sorts of technology in past years. The Naval Research Laboratory under the Office of Naval Research holds several patents, right up there with companies like IBM and institutions like the University of California.

According to TIME Magazine, the U.S. navy laser gun that was developed as a solid state electrical weapon is a change to the way the military deploys weaponry altogether and for several obvious reasons.

For one, the technology enables the navy to save a large amount of money, literally only paying pennies on the dollar, on munitions supplies. The weapons are electrical in nature and don’t require any ammunition at all. This means the military will shift their focus of armament with bullets, smart bombs and missiles to the U.S. navy laser gun and electromagnetic rail guns of the future.

Secondly, the military, not just the Navy either, wants to ramp up efforts in a new age technological warfare era, where drones, robots, lasers, rail guns and smart machines will be employed on the battlefield. This weapons could reportedly burn through a drone in the sky or swarm boats at sea.

According to the Mint Press News, an independent news network that focuses on social issues, the Navy laser gun will be positioned on theĀ on the transport dock of the USS Ponce vessel to be located in the Persian Gulf.

Thirdly, weapons such as this will have the inherent advantage of constant attack. Because it does not run out of ammo and essentially blasts targets with electricity and/or energy, the weapons can bombard their targets with constant assault. Rail Guns have also reportedly been field tested in the state of Virginia, according to Mint Press News. These futuristic weapons can blast a projectile out about six to seven times the speed of sound, according to some reports.

Now, this isn’t all to say there aren’t some problems with using this kind of weapon. The Navy laser weapon will likely not operate properly if there are inconvenient weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow or dust. The laser will not travel well through these barriers, the way bullets, bombs and missiles do. Clouds could also detract from its capabilities, Discover Magazine reported.

As the military continues to push toward the future era of electronic, cyber and machine interactive warfare, there will be an astonishing list of new types of weapons most people have only seen in movies or dreamed about coming right off the production line and into regular military use. The U.S. Navy laser gun and rail guns of the future will be just another chapter in the military industrial complex competing for the most effective war machines.

By Rob Lawson

Sources:
Discover Magazine
Mint Press News
TIME

One Response to "U.S. Navy Laser and Rail Guns of the Future"

  1. Rob.   March 5, 2014 at 6:56 am

    ‘Pennies on the dollar’ for laser interaction? At a practical level no. Near 1um lasers only useful in near ideal weather conditions, even then scattering loss at sea level in marine environment not pretty. Thus under any other conditions under which laser utilization is completely impractical the good old traditional weapons will be required. Thus one is in a sense, heaping cost on cost by installing an expensive system on a platform, which still has to retain all the other costly weapons. That is unless one can arrange with a foe, that said foe only attacks when weather ideal.
    ‘Burn through’ as a preferred laser solution? Obvious countermeasures exist, which would require scaling of the existing perhaps 50kW systems to probably +500kW. That will just scale cost again, if it can be even done with the technology being pursued. And system will still be fair weather restricted.
    From my perspective there seems to be rather muddled thinking going on – cost benefit does not seem to have been considered. Yes, lasers are useful, but not perhaps in this way.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.