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Raytheon Awarded Contract by US Army for Truck Mounted 100 kw Laser

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posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 10:53 AM
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The US Army has woken up to the fact they are currently very unprotected from air attacks. During the 90s and Oughts, the US Army assumed the US Air Force would be able to provide air dominance and, in order to save on money in an era of limited budgets and/or ground wars, the Army decided to pretty much neglect its air defenses. In that era, it made some sense to do so: no air force on the planet could have challenged the USAF at the time.

Times, though, have changed.

With the introduction of a true 5th generation fighter in China and the development of foreign stealthy bombers, the world is starting to close with the US on technology. Like economic convergence, there is a technological one as well. While the US has been the leaders in miltech for a long time, by and large, if not quite all areas, we are entering an era where the areas the US Army needs to put boots on ground cannot be swept clear of enemies fighters.

To deal with this, the US Army has recently bought an air defense system to be mounted on Strykers(1). However, this is a short range and interim solution. It also does not fill the C-RAM (Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar) defense role. To make matters worse, should the US Army be faced with an enemy with a comparable or larger economy and far combatants, the Leonardo derived air defenses would be exhausted quickly and we'd be faced with a massive financial (as well as casualty) bill. To address this, the Army has been looking at other options. Lasers have long been a favorite.

An electrically driven lasers, unlike the ones from the SDI era which were either chemically or nuclear driven, can down missiles, artillery shells, etc for tens of dollars per shot. And, so long as you have fuel to generate electricity, you have an extremely deep magazine: an M-1 tank engine produces 1.2 MW of power. That's enough to power, continuously, over ten military grade lasers: military grade being 100 kw or more.

Recently, Lockheed demonstrated a 60 kw fiber laser on the back of a truck. Raytheon has(2) now been awarded a contract for a 100 kw laser on the same size (or smaller) truck. These are not yet purely tactical, where they would rumble alongside the tanks and infantry carriers, but they would be smaller than the Patriot missile systems. While they would be limited to line of sight, you can't out run the speed of light. if you can see it, you can kill it(3).

Once Raytheon delivers, it's highly likely the US Army will go into a program of record and procure relatively off the shelf lasers for its air defenses. That's not to say they will not continue developing them for putting laser weapons on vehicles that can run along with the tanks and whatnot, but very soon, lasers will be on the battlefield for the US at least(4).

And that will cause some nontrivial shifts in how wars will be fought.



1. www.defensenews.com...

2. defense-update.com...

3. Don't start with the mirrored surface nonsense. That was tested. It doesn't work. A mirror is almost impossible to keep perfectly clean on the battlefield and those smudges and pits will allow the laser to work through. Also, the mirror needs to be tuned for a specific laser wavelength, otherwise, too much energy gets through. Each type of laser will have a different wavelength and it becomes a massively losing prospect to put layer after layer on a shell or missile. And, despite what Anakin Skywalker thought, spinning an aircraft is just a great way to make the pilot throw up.

4. And China, tbh.




posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 10:57 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Big deal.
The Japanese have been using those to fight off Godzilla since the 60s.

Sounds like cool tech though.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 11:04 AM
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Correct me if I’m wrong but the output of 10kw does not mean that’s all the electrical power it needs, seems there would be loses and inEfficiency in converting the vehicles 24(or 48) volt DC vehicle powe to whatever the emitter requires?



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: BigDave-AR

100 kw, but yes. However, they are using laser diodes, basically, to supply the beam. They are very efficient. That's why I stated 10 lasers instead of 12 for the M-1 tank turbine.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 11:40 AM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: anzha

Big deal.
The Japanese have been using those to fight off Godzilla since the 60s.

Sounds like cool tech though.


That never worked out very well.




posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 12:16 PM
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no air force on the planet could have challenged the USAF at the time.

There are none, still. IMO.



With the introduction of a true 5th generation fighter in China
a reply to: anzha

The moment they are able to manufacture a decent toaster or say a simple pair of scissors, I'll wait 50 years before I start worrying....Thanks for the heads up.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 12:40 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: BigDave-AR

100 kw, but yes. However, they are using laser diodes, basically, to supply the beam. They are very efficient. That's why I stated 10 lasers instead of 12 for the M-1 tank turbine.

Some how I find it fairly difficult to believe the system is 83% efficient. I wouldn’t think the electrical efficiency would be no greater than 75%. Also the 1.2mw is purely mechanical horsepower converted into watts which again doesn’t take into account drivetrain losses and it’s not a hybrid drive tank so it has no way of converting all 1500hp into electrical energy. So I’m highly suspect of your electrical output power for the M1. Even if it did run a full generator and had an electric drivetrain you’re never going to get 1.2mw out of 1500hp not in the real world. Could it drive a single 100kw laser system? It’s possible but there are definent flaws in stating the M1 can output 1.2mw of electrical power it’s literally impossible. If the tank utilizes a 48v electrical system 1.2mw is MASSIVE 25,000AMPS! Do you realize how big of a cable would be required to transmit that kind of amperage? Even assuming 100% efficiency the 100kw alone at 48v is 2,100amps, still insane.
Check my math if you like and I mean no disrespect.
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: BigDave-AR

I was told it was actual power when hooked up. However, I could be wrong. The diodes are widely efficient compared to other tech, but I do believe you are right that I mucked up the math. My mistake for going fast and loose to get the post done quickly. Might be as low as 6 then. Even so, power generation is not the problem.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 12:44 PM
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a reply to: donktheclown

They don't have to challenge us. We've gutted our own force structure for them.
edit on 7/2/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 12:47 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: BigDave-AR

I was told it was actual power when hooked up. However, I could be wrong. The diodes are widely efficient compared to other tech, but I do believe you are right that I mucked up the math. My mistake for going fast and loose to get the post done quickly. Might be as low as 6 then. Even so, power generation is not the problem.

No problem it just set alarm bells off in my mind and so I had to dig out the conversion reference to check if my rough guesstimate was correct and then work backwards from there with Ohm’s law. I’ll try to see what the M1 electrical system is rated for but I doubt they have that much untapped electrical energy. I probably won’t be able to find it but I am curious now.
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)

I still think you’re way overestimating the electrical capacity even saying it could run 6 I would be pretty stoked if it could power 2.
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 12:51 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: donktheclown

Thru don't have to challenge us. We've gutted our own force structure for them.
Cool, then we roll over and die.

Seriously, just come out and say it, we're done, no point, lets just self destruct, hmmm?

Everything mention, you have some quip, some of us still believe in our abilities, but post like yours as of late, total downer...😞😞😞 you might as well post in manderin.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:02 PM
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From what I can see the M1 electrical power is 650amps@ 28v so 18.2kw max assuming the tank is using no other power for its systems so yeah you’re not even going to power one. The laser will have to have a trailered genset following it around unless they’re getting wayyy over 100% efficient.

See page 25 of this document www.dtic.mil...

Arnie give the man a break you don’t know what’s going on in his life we all have our times were we are off or burnt out.
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)

edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:22 PM
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a reply to: BigDave-AR

I understand. The M-1 turbine was NOT hooked up to a tank, just the turbine shaft hooked up to a alternator for some test.

I have no illusions a current M-1 could do this: it'd have to be completely rebuilt and that'd be not worth it.

OTOH, a hybrid system with a turbine might be not a bad idea with electrical motors actually driving the tracks, etc, but on a new vehicle.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:23 PM
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a reply to: Arnie123

Who said anything about rolling over and dying? But to pretend that we are still the strongest out there with our current status of forces is denying reality.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:28 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: BigDave-AR

I understand. The M-1 turbine was NOT hooked up to a tank, just the turbine shaft hooked up to a alternator for some test.

I have no illusions a current M-1 could do this: it'd have to be completely rebuilt and that'd be not worth it.

OTOH, a hybrid system with a turbine might be not a bad idea with electrical motors actually driving the tracks, etc, but on a new vehicle.

That’s not what I was getting out of what you were saying. Saying an M1 can produce the power and then saying that the AGT-1500 hooked up to a genset are two entirely different beasts. So you would have to have a trailered genset whether it is driven by the AGT-1500 doesn’t matter, I’m sure it’s cheaper and easier to just use say a Cat diesel 20kw+ plus trailered genset as the military already uses them..
It was done back in the day on the Ferdinand Porsche Tiger and the derivatives and it had a lot of issues. A modern setup would be better but I’m not sure if any other countries have fielded a modern diesel over electric type hybrid system.
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)

edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:30 PM
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Accidental post
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:31 PM
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a reply to: BigDave-AR

But the military likes to reinvent the wheel or in this case the generator.



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:33 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: BigDave-AR

But the military likes to reinvent the wheel or in this case the generator.

Much to their detriment at times. I see no reason not to use an existing genset over a cobbled together freakshow.
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:34 PM
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Blast it I hit the reply instead of edit again fail..
edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)

edit on 7/2/2018 by BigDave-AR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2018 @ 01:42 PM
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a reply to: Arnie123

Arnie,

A lot of us are watching what the pentagon is doing to the forces and becoming rather despondent. This has been a problem for 25 years now and its only grown worse. it's not a republican thing. It's not a democrat thing. Its all the administrations, congress and the pentagon.

Look at the problems for the scout helicopter replacement attempts: we are now on 3? more? attempts over 20 years. They're now timing it such they will clobber the replacement for the Blackhawk. The number of offices that have to sign off on an aviation program in the army would take almost two years if noone did more than look at it for a day or two to rubber stamp it.

Look at the problems with replacing the Bradley. We're on attempt #4 in the same timeframe. How old is the M-1 tank? Or the artillery systems?

Look at the mess with the destroyers and cruisers for the navy. Our cruisers are now 20+ years in age. Then there's the LCS. oh gawd. They're getting to what the LCS ought to have been at the start JUST NOW with the start of the frigate program...and the Chinese frigates will STILL have twice the magazine depth.

Now look at the Air Force. The last transport aircraft developed was the C-17. That line closed in 2015. The C-5 line closed in *1989*. Look at the mess the Pegasus tanker has been. The USAF cut the training hours again for new pilots by 10%. Then, this is both USAF and Navy, the hypoxia problems that could potentially kill our pilots in combat.

This is barely the start of the problems.

There have been powers that lost their place in the world because of complacency and incompetence. We are in grave danger of doing that.

What makes it worse for myself - and I suspect Zaph - as well is everyone keeps going 'rah-rah' rather than acknowledging the problems and attempting to force some change. None of us want to roll over. However, we keep seeing stupid shbt happening and people going rahrah instead of going in and cleaning out the temple. And that temple is a festering sore at this point.




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