The US navy has bought a pair of laser cannons

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The US navy has bought a pair of laser cannons

Post by veya_victaous on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:33 pm

THE US navy has bought two incredible laser cannons that are capable of blasting drones out of the sky.

These so-called “high-energy lasers” use huge amounts of power to destroy their targets, and will soon be loaded on to operational warships, reports The Sun.

The lasers were built by Lockheed Martin and can be used to strike boats and small drones.

But by boosting the power from 150kW per shot to 300kW, it’s possible to destroy incoming missiles — before they hit their targets.

The pair of cannons cost the US navy $192 million, but that’s a small fee for the added security the mega-lasers will bring.

One laser will remain on land, and will be used for military testing purposes.

The second laser cannon, however, will be loaded onto an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer ship as soon as 2020, according to Motherboard.

The news comes as news China could be developing a terrifying ship-mounted rail gun that could significantly upgrade the country’s naval warfare capabilities.

Experts say that images being shared on social media show the warship Haiyang Shan being loaded with the space-age weapon.

A rail gun is a type of weapon that uses powerful electromagnets to accelerate projectiles to very high speeds.

Conventional weapons typically use explosives or propellant to launch ammunition, but electromagnetic forces make it possible for a rail gun to achieve a much higher “muzzle velocity”.

This means that while a normal gun might manage a projectile speed of around 2km/s, a rail gun could blast out projectiles faster than 3km/s.

It also means that you don’t need to transport explosive propellants or warheads, which could make a rail gun-toting warship much safer than traditional vessels.

Details of China’s rail gun have been leaked online by an analyst called Dafeng Cao, who observes China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Cao sourced a number of images of a PLAN Type 072III-class warship from China’s social media site Weibo, apparently showing a rail gun on board.

The analyst says there are several key clues, including the short, thick barrel, which would be unsuitable for long-range explosive weapons.

He also cites a verified Weibo account that reportedly belongs to a retired China naval officer, who said that a ship-mounted rail gun had been approved years ago.

According to the officer, the Haiyang Shan warship was a great platform to test the weapon thanks to its large deck area.

If China is successful, it would be the world’s first ship-mounted rail gun — a feat not even achieved by the US.

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