A New Weapon of Choice: The Navy’s Plan to Deploy Laser Systems

img4

The future is here. The United States military has worked toward using laser guns over the last several years. There are plans now to actually launch a laser gun this summer. It is attached to a Navy warship, and will be tested in potentially hostile waters. There have been many years of research and tens of millions of dollars put into this laser, and now we’re looking at the future of war and technology.

The Research Phase

It has been about six years in the making for us to finally see this laser come to fruition. However, that’s just the research done on this specific weapon. If you look a little broader, you’ll see that the American government has had the military looking at and researching laser weapons for decades. With all of this research, there has never been a full-working, ready-to-be-tested prototype.

Laser technology is something that has been used in our everyday lives for several decades. For example, when you use a television remote from the 90s, it uses laser technology. Even today we are using lasers with our everyday devices, such as the HTC Mini that works with the HTC One. The research used in these everyday devices has also helped improve the knowledge and research of those working on a laser weapon.

Testing

The big question now is whether or not the laser weapon will work, and how effective it will be. Sometime in the summer of 2014, the laser will be fitted to a ship – the Ponce. There are currently no dates as to when this will happen, however. It’s important to note that the testing will be done in a relevant environment. In fact, the spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command has said that it will be tested in a similar area to where they expect to have to use the weapon in the future. Testing in this environment will show what changes and improvements are needed.

Possible Concerns

There are a number of concerns that will be tested for concerning these lasers. For example, lasers have a tendency to be less effective in the cases of turbulence in the air, as well as during dusty or rainy conditions. Basically, if there is any interference, the laser can easily lose its effectiveness. In addition, it is expected to require a lot of energy to run properly. The Navy has stated that they have found ways around these problems. Unfortunately, until there is testing done, there is no way to know what impact the weather and other elements will have.

Another concern is that there is little to no way to store enough power for the laser gun. However, the Navy is working around this, as well. They are working on battery systems that will store enough power to run the guns. In addition, they are working on a new destroyer that will be able to generate enough power. However, at this point the new destroyer is the only ship with enough electricity.

The Future

As long as testing goes well, it is expected that these laser guns will become more commonplace in the United States Navy. While they are expensive to build, the guns actually only cost a few dollars per shot, which makes them more cost-effective in the long run than many missiles and other large weapons. It is expected that sometime between 2017 and 2021, the new laser guns will be a common part of the Navy force, and they’ll become a regular weapon on the Navy fleets.

As these weapons become more popular and more commonly used, there will be research on how to decrease the amount of electricity needed to run the guns. In addition, there will become better ways to store the electricity needed.

Lasers used to be a thing of the future. However, today we are working on deploying a new laser gun on a Navy ship. We have entered the future, and looking ahead it will be interesting to see what the new future holds for America and the world in general.