Thursday, January 20, 2011

Scientists Generate Megawatt-Class Laser Beams for US Navy's Next-Generation Weapon System

The research is a necessary step for the Department of the Navy to one day deploy the megawatt-class FEL weapon system, revolutionizing ship defense, Saulter said. "The FEL is expected to provide future U.S. Naval forces with a near-instantaneous laser ship defense in any maritime environment throughout the world."

The laser works by passing a beam of high-energy electrons generated by an injector, through a series of strong magnetic fields, causing an intense emission of laser light. ONR hopes to test the FEL in a maritime environment as early as 2018.

BAD HARDWARE WEEK: Hmmm, just in time to hit in midair invi(n)sible Chinese J-20 fighters in 2018. The Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS) has already shot down UAVs in other than combat scenarios, bringing the total number of downed flying robots to seven.

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