US Navy starts LaWS: Laser-Based Tech for future

US Navy LaWS (Source: Office of Naval Research from Arlington, United States)

Military technology and engineering are always better, sophisticated, and ahead. They always have a good budget and bright minds at their disposal. They always show us first-class powerful and awesome gadgets. If we look back at history, the US Military is one of the key role players in the development of technology like the Internet. After good research and a show of a really cool electromagnetic projectile shooter, the US Navy has started LaWS (Laser Weapon System). This is the first phase of the project.

We are a technology news site and this is interesting to us due to the use of laser. The USS Ponce which is located in the Persian Gulf has been using AN/SEQ-3 LaWS since August 2014. It is not powerful enough but the technology is developing. Currently, it can shoot a non-lethal laser flash to thwart the sensors of UAVs. We should not underestimate its powers though. It can surely take down small ships like drones easily. LaWS is currently in the Iranian fleet station for defense purposes. The main purpose of LaWS is to tackle Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). It has high power and it can burn sensors, motors, and destroy light UAV.

Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The laser is a very delicate system so it needs a lot of care. It needs protection from dust, dirt, and harsh weather. The Navy is constantly developing and improving this system for LaWS. It is sure that in near future we will be seeing a new high-tech laser system. The military also showed experiments with electromagnetic projectile shooters some years before. They are capable of shooting metal projectiles on Mach 7 that is 7 times the speed of sound. LaWS is a new addition to the US Navy’s weapon system.

Advancements and Developments in LaWS

The plan is to improve LaWS and try to implement these systems to improve the military’s power. These latest laser-based technologies are the future of this industry. The AN/SEQ-3 Laser Weapon System can target drones, UAVs, and motorboats and destroy them. In the future, there may not be a need to use projectiles and explosive materials. New technology always brings up challenges to another technology. So the defense will also need improvement. We might now need laser attack-proof aircraft and another high-tech system as a countermeasure.

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The LaWS on the USS Ponce can have low power or high power mode. It actually uses an infrared beam to shoot at its enemies. A low power beam is used to scare off enemies with non-lethal and non-destructive laser shots. In the high power mode, it a deliver 30,000W power shot that can do serious damages. This is a very new and high-tech project. Moreover, it has many pros over traditional machinery. There are many benefits and that is why the US Navy is pursuing this technology.

The USA spends a lot of its budget on defense and military. They constantly work on improving, inventing new technology. LaWS is one example and it actually is a very advanced system. It doesn’t need projectiles and just needs energy sources such as electricity. They can be highly precise and have a very high range. These things are good for a country’s defense. For now, LaWS are a pretty expensive and futuristic technology. However, in the near future, we may see them in deployment.

Defense and new technology

Newer technologies are usually developed during the defense R&D process. LaWS is an amazing and interesting implementation of Laser. It is a state of the art technology for defense. One of the main reasons for developing this technology is the economy. Using traditional defense equipment is costly. But an energy-directed system can save a lot of material and money. The research in this sector is always focused on the best technology that can offer the most accurate result or target. The laser has many usages and its application in defense is surely impressive.

The use of lasers now shows that huge changes can be expected with the development of science. LaWS is using Laser for defense and it is serving as a very high-tech solution. Similarly, electromagnetic projectile shooters also work as a replacement for old technology. The laser is one of the most important inventions of the modern era. It is used in many fields of science including engineering, medicine, and defense. All these technologies are great to see. Now let us wait and watch what more of such interesting things we get to see.

Image Credit: Office of Naval Research from Arlington, United States


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About the Author: Abhishek Chand

Structural Engineer by profession. Computer and smartphone enthusiast. Tech-savvy blogger and former Gadget reviewer of AP1 HD TV and TechnoNepal.

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