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Star Wars To Become Reality As Us Navy On Course To Arm Ship With Laser

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/star-wars-to-become-reality-as-us-navy-on-course-to-arm-ship-with-laser-9136993.html

Some of the US Navy’s futuristic weapons sound like something out of Star Wars, with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds.

The Navy plans to deploy its first laser on a ship later this year, and it intends to test an electromagnetic rail gun prototype aboard a vessel within two years.

For the Navy, it’s not so much about the whizz-bang technology as it is about the economics. Both are cheap compared with missiles and smart bombs, and they can be fired continuously.

“It fundamentally changes the way we fight,” said Captain Mike Ziv, programme manager for directed energy and electric weapon systems for the Naval Sea Systems Command. The Navy’s laser technology has evolved to the point where a prototype to be deployed aboard the USS Ponce this summer can be operated by a single sailor, he said.

The solid-state laser weapon system is designed to target “asymmetrical threats”. These include aerial drones, speedboats and swarm boats, all threats to warships in the Persian Gulf, where the Ponce, a staging base, will be deployed.

Rail guns fire a projectile at six or seven times the speed of sound – enough velocity to cause severe damage. The Navy sees them as replacing or supplementing old-school guns.

But both systems have shortcomings. Lasers tend to lose their effectiveness if it’s raining, dusty, or if there is turbulence in the atmosphere, and the rail gun requires vast amounts of electricity to launch the projectile.

So along with the Swiss who you can only attack during office hours, the US Navy will only be able to fight if it's not raining. :lol::lol:

Perhaps this is why star wars was set in space?

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USS Ponce?

Don't care if it's a laser-armed death star of a ship, still going to snigger..

It's interesting that the new Gerald Ford-class carriers that the US is building have something like 3 times the power capacity of the old Nimitz-class, so you can expect them to be carrying some serious Laser / Rail gun defenses at some point. Which would render virtually any possible anti-ship missile obsolete, bearing in mind that the atmosphere itself limits the speed of such missiles.

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