The U.S. Navy unveils futuristic military technology beginning this summer
By John Vibes
WASHINGTON (INTELLIHUB) — In 2010, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions was awarded an $11 million dollar contract to develop energy weapons for the U.S. military, specifically the U.S. Navy.
The program came to be known as The Laser Weapon System or LaWS.
The military application of this technology took very little time to implement. By 2012, prototypes of this weapon were already being tested, and by this summer Navy vessels will actually be equipped with this weapon.
Below is a video released by the Navy earlier this year that shows how the technology will work:
However, this weapon is nothing compared to the Navy energy weapon that made news this week. According to multiple mainstream reports, the navy plans to release a high powered, electromagnetic rail gun. The rail gun is apparently capable of launching a projectile at speeds over Mach 7 (7-times the speed of sound) and would have ranges exceeding 100 miles.
“We’re talking about a projectile that we’re going to send well over 100 miles, we’re talking about a projectile that can go over Mach 7, we’re talking about a projectile that can go well into the atmosphere,” said Admiral Matthew Klunder, the chief of Naval Research.
The Navy recently released video of them testing this device at the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Dahlgren Division in Dahlgren, Virginia.
The high-powered rail gun is scheduled for implementation sometime in 2016, and is only one of two major rail gun projects that the Navy is currently involved with. The U.S. government is currently heavily invested in these technologies because they are just as destructive, but far less expensive than missiles.
A railgun is an electrically powered electromagnetic projectile launcher based on similar principles to the homopolar motor. A railgun comprises a pair of parallel conducting rails, along which a sliding armature is accelerated by the electromagnetic effects of a current that flows down one rail, into the armature and then back along the other rail.
Railguns have long existed as experimental technology but the mass, size and cost of the required power supplies have prevented railguns from becoming practical military weapons. However, in recent years, significant efforts have been made towards their development as feasible military technology.
“One of the advantages of the laser system we’re using, is that it’s based on commercial technologies. It’s fairly efficient compared to other lasers, and because of that, it can be powered on a lot of different platforms, using existing power sources.” Navy Captain Mike Ziv, the Naval Sea Systems Command’s program manager for directed energy and electric weapons, told a Department of Defense source.
It is likely that the LaWS technology is already implemented on many of the ships currently deployed by the Navy.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)