Nowadays the fantastic application of laser systems becomes true, and today weapons based on laser technology are used whether in the hands of infantry, mounted on trucks, armored vehicles, warships, and even Air Force fighters. Therefore, it is planned to use fiber laser systems for the destruction of cruise missiles.
To be more precise, fiber lasers emit laser beam light to create intense heat. It means that such laser systems offer practically inexhaustible “ammunition”, herewith, the cost per shot is pretty low compared to a missile or even a cannon shell. Other advantages of fiber laser systems include fast speed and accuracy, although they are considered to lose coherence over distance.
It should be noted that “the more powerful the fiber laser, the further it can go and the quicker it burns through its target—but the larger its power supply and cooling system have to be.” The U.S. Army confirms that ground-based laser systems will ensure an effective and cost-efficient laser device that allows defended against drones and surface-skimming cruise missiles.
Fiber laser systems demonstrate their particular efficiency as short-range air defense systems against Unmanned Aerial Vehicles because of the common slowness. Thus, the laser system has enough time to burn through the drone’s skin and damage critical bits of the airframe. Moreover, anti-drone application of laser technology has been already tested and was recently employed in combat for the first time when a Turkish laser system applied by a faction in Syria stop an enemy drone.
By 2022, it is planned to create the first four-vehicle platoon of eight-wheel armored vehicles equipped with a turret-mounted 50-kilowatt fiber laser system. Finally, such laser modules will become a common support asset in U.S. brigade combat teams. Nevertheless, laser systems face great challenges from jet-powered cruise missiles, the thing is that even slow missiles tend to scream towards their targets at 500–600 miles per hour resulting in little time left for fiber lasers to stop the missile’s skin target.
Additionally, the fiber laser system has to somehow cause heat damage to an element that will avert the cruise missile from sailing forward on sheer momentum to hit its target because the laser module does not use kinetic force to “push” the missile. Now the development of the 100 KW laser system is regarded as an interim step before the creation of a 250 or 300 KW weapon based on the laser technology resulting in overcoming “more stressing threats”.
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