The 46th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation assessed the advantages and prospects of laser weapons and compared its capabilities with traditional weapons systems.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation came to the conclusion that currently laser weapons systems are being actively improved in all developed countries to solve various combat tasks. Developments are underway to increase the effectiveness of laser weapons, as well as new protection systems are being invented against their effects. According to the military, in the future, the prospect of using combat laser systems and laser weapons in general will have the widest application in future military conflicts. In addition, the further development of laser weapons systems will lead to the emergence and introduction of new strategies and tactics of warfare.
The Ministry of Defense believes that the use of this type of weapon can play a decisive role in military conflicts, to protect important state, military and industrial facilities. Compared to traditional weapons systems, laser weapons have a number of advantages.
What are the strengths and weaknesses?
Laser weapons differ favorably from other types of weapons by the stealth of their use, which is due to the absence of smoke, sound and flame. Also, the strengths of laser weapons include a very small exposure time interval and the highest accuracy. One of the disadvantages is that its use is limited to the line-of-sight zone, and in conditions of difficult visibility, such as rain, fog, snowfall, dustiness andthe smoke content of the atmosphere, the damaging effect is reduced by an order of magnitude, and when using aerosol curtains, there may be no impact on the object.At the same time, the main limitation of laser weapons is its energy dependence. The amount of energy when a laser is fired at a weakly armored target should exceed 100-250 kW, this will require a powerful power plant.
What are the advantages compared to traditional types of weapons?
The laser beam is able to intercept maneuvering targets, which distinguishes it from anti-missiles and anti-aircraft missiles. Its speed is such that it is almost impossible to deviate from it. The laser can be used not only to destroy, but also to blind the target, as well as to detect it. With the help of power adjustment, you can influence the target in a very wide range: from warning to causing critical damage.
Also, the weapon is distinguished by high speed and accuracy of destruction. The beam moves at the speed of light and reaches the target almost instantly. Its destruction takes place in a matter of seconds, a minimum of time is needed to transfer the fire to another target. The radiation hits exactly the area it was directed at, without affecting the surrounding objects. The laser beam has no mass, so there is no need to make ballistic corrections when firing, take into account the direction and strength of the wind.
When a laser beam is fired, there is no recoil. A shot from a laser installation does not have unmasking features. The cost of one shot is relatively low.
What is the Russian laser weapon?
In Russia, the promising combat laser complex “Peresvet” has been on combat duty since the beginning of December 2018. Very little is known about him & ndash; the military does not report information, but also does not refute the reports appearing in the media. The military does not disclose the tactical and technical characteristics of the complex, even the source of energy is not known reliably.
However, so far this is the only laser weapon in the world that has been put into service and tested in a combat situation, in particular, in Syria. The complex is mobile and can be placed on vehicles, has a modular principle of building the main systems, which allows for increasing the power and range of targets to be hit. According to experts, further refinement of this laser weapon system will lead to the emergence and introduction of new strategies and tactics of warfare.
What other countries are developing laser weapons?
Currently, new laser weapons systems are also being developed in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Israel and France. Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman (USA) often demonstrate the practical results of their work on the creation of ground-based laser weapons. In 2019, the United States announced the creation ofKLOSN & laquo; GBADOTM», whose main task is to protect against enemy reconnaissance and attack UAVs. They also announced the first-ever contract with the Pentagon for the supply of fully integrated high-energy HELIOS systems, which will be equipped with an ArleighBurke-class destroyer, the installation capacity exceeds 60 kW.
In 2014, Israel introduced the Iron Beam combat laser system, which includes a radar and two solid-state laser installations. The complex is designed to destroy shells, missiles and mines at short distances. The company “Rheinmetall” (Germany) announced the successful testing of the combat unit of the laser complex, which is based on its own development of the laser complex, as well as a target detection and tracking station.