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Anti-ship missiles on the verge of obsolescence?

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posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by C0bzz
reply to post by kilcoo316
 


IF the ship carries two lasers, what happens if you fire 10 hypersonic sea-skimming missiles at it?


Hypersonic or not you are talking about light speed technology. If you fire 10 sea skimming hypersonic missiles you will still have a pretty quick engagament time not to mention the fact that a solid state laser system could be placed on more than just a big carrier as you would not need a 747 sized footprint to carry the chemicals needed for a COIL laser.




posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 10:01 AM
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I think we could see heavily shielded missels to counter lasers and because of the inherent short range of seaborne lasers it can be overwhelmed somewhat easy.

What i really think would work best is a sort of laser zepplin hovering above to ship/fleet which would give the laser a much larger range. Im talking about a zepplin because you want something that stands by at any time.

The disadvantage of such a system would be that it can be targeted by lasers itself.



posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 10:57 AM
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Is it possible to actively cancel out electromagnetic radiation. I.E. light...?


Just wondering....



posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 04:19 PM
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In answer to the original question - no, this will not make anti-ship missiles obsolete.

What it will do is create a new arms race - up until now, you haven't seen hardened missiles, missiles with active defences, missiles built to have zero RCS from the front.

It will happen, one side will field a missile which has 30cm of high temperature ablative material on the front, or simply the entire missile will be resistant to heat.

Or it will sense the laser and dodge it before it becomes an issue.

Or the missile gets to 50KM out, goes ballistic and then goes 'dumb', requiring no guidance or anything. 2 tonnes of uranium at Mach 10 will put a pretty serious dent in anything.

Once upon a time, someone asked the same question about aircraft and surface-to-air guided missiles. Look what happened...



posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316

Originally posted by C0bzz
Fire one more missile than the amount of lasers on the ship.





The non-reliance on any finite supply of munitions is one of the key strengths of the system.


I suppose the only reliance is on power... but its not likely the ship will run out of fuel, is it?


Whats the recharge time like for these puppies? Its unlikely that any deployed laser will be powered directly from the ships power source, and more likely that it will be powered by buffering energy for a period of time. This allows you to build up gigawatts of power without requiring a huge, dedicated power supply.



posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
Whats the recharge time like for these puppies?


Current lasers are in the teens kW power range[1].


An Arleigh Burke generates up to ~30 MW of power at the turbine shafts.


Power generation is not a problem. Some form of buffers are of course logical, if only to supply an extremely stable power source... but the time to buffer would be extremely short if not zero due to multiple buffering points.


[1] Janes



posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
In answer to the original question - no, this will not make anti-ship missiles obsolete.


I would disagree, I believe it will accelerate the introduction of the rail gun.



Originally posted by RichardPrice
What it will do is create a new arms race - up until now, you haven't seen hardened missiles, missiles with active defences, missiles built to have zero RCS from the front.

It will happen, one side will field a missile which has 30cm of high temperature ablative material on the front, or simply the entire missile will be resistant to heat.

Or it will sense the laser and dodge it before it becomes an issue.

Or the missile gets to 50KM out, goes ballistic and then goes 'dumb', requiring no guidance or anything. 2 tonnes of uranium at Mach 10 will put a pretty serious dent in anything.

Once upon a time, someone asked the same question about aircraft and surface-to-air guided missiles. Look what happened...


Some potential routes of development there... all with varying issues of some sort.

When it becomes a question of power, the defending ship at 8,000 tons will always be able to beat the missile at 1 ton.



posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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This missile can't be stopped. It's a stealth missile. If you can't see it, you can't shoot it down with lasers. It's the world's most advanced antiship missile.


Naval Strike Missile



posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 06:39 PM
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The thing about a ship mounted laser is that it has a range limits as to when and where it can engage a ship. All a ship has to do is stay under the Horizon or other natural cover and it will be safe from a laser. And it will still be safe to engage the threat.

The only place a Laser is actually effective is from a satellite or a Plain/Jet.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 03:36 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316

An Arleigh Burke generates up to ~30 MW of power at the turbine shafts.



The 4 General Electric LM2500-30's on an Arleigh Burke class destroyer produces a *peak* of 7.5MW on the shaft.

That does not mean constant output, and it does not mean usable power generation.

And the Arleigh Burke has that power output without having a laser system installed. Which probably means it already needs it...


Originally posted by kilcoo316

I would disagree, I believe it will accelerate the introduction of the rail gun.



You are entitled to disagree all you wish, but people have been asking similar questions for hundreds of years.

In the 1940s and 1950s, there were a lot of people saying the US Navy was 'obsolete' because of air power advances. Oh look, the US still has a fully capable Navy and its still far from obsolete.

Mounting lasers on ships won't make anti-ship missiles obsolete, any more than the introduction of the Phalanx CIWS did.


Originally posted by kilcoo316
Some potential routes of development there... all with varying issues of some sort.


You say that like developing a laser based anti-missile system would be a breeze...


Originally posted by kilcoo316
When it becomes a question of power, the defending ship at 8,000 tons will always be able to beat the missile at 1 ton.


Right, tell that to the guys on the HMS Sheffield - sunk by an Exocet.

Or how about HMS Ardent, or RFA Sir Galahad, or HMS Coventry - sunk by 1000lb bombs.

Big things come to sticky ends as the result of being struck by little things. Time and again this has been proven, and time and again it has also been proven that there is no golden bullet answer to this issue. You can come up with better defences, but the other side will come up with better weapons to attack you with.

Plus you totally overlook the fact that a 1 tonne block of depleted uranium (or tungsten, or even just concrete) travelling at Mach 10 carries with it a significant amount of energy - the 8,000 tonne ship is going to have issues with that.

[edit on 20/7/2009 by RichardPrice]



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 05:01 AM
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Well, as someone that actually worked on military laser R&D (twenty five years ago), it ain't all that easy.

First problem is you need a lot of VERY concentrated power at a distance to melt or destroy anything, (time x power). You cannot boil one pint of water in a second with a candle. You cannot boil one pint of water in one second with an oxy acetylene cutting torch either. It takes stupendous power to actually damage or destroy something at a distance with a laser. Most people cannot understand this. They think "laser:, oh so it MUST be powerful.

I will just aim my five dollar laser pointer at a battle tank from five miles away and it will just go "poof".

Second problem, a solid state laser is about 2% efficient. For every kilowatt of laser power, you need something like 50Kw of optical pumping power into the niobium ruby rod. The other 49 Kw is waste heat trying to destroy your laser.

So any really powerful weapon will by necessity have a very slow rate of fire because of the low efficiency, and the heat problem..

Third problem, the atmosphere disrupts and spreads any laser beam, ESPECIALLY a high powered beam. What causes stars to twinkle, also vastly reduces the efficiency of your laser over any practical distance.

Fourth problem, a ship pitches and rolls. You think you are an expert marksman that can put ten rounds into a three inch circle at one mile.

Try doing that while jumping up and down on a trampoline, or from a boat in rough water..

The best solution for long range ship protection in a rough sea, is still intelligent target seeking missiles, that lock onto a target, or are guided onto the target, so that initial aiming at launch is not that critical. You cannot do that with a laser, particle beam, or magnetic cannon. They are all dumb point and shoot weapons with a very low rate of fire.

Lasers have been around for a very long time, and the problems have not changed. While a lot of progress has been made, they are not, and probably will never be the ideal ship based defence weapon.

They do have a lot of other applications though in secure communications, range finding, and laser radar (lidar).



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
The 4 General Electric LM2500-30's on an Arleigh Burke class destroyer produces a *peak* of 7.5MW on the shaft.

That does not mean constant output, and it does not mean usable power generation.

And the Arleigh Burke has that power output without having a laser system installed. Which probably means it already needs it...


I think you've read most of my post the wrong way.

Yest, that is mostly used for propulsion, it was to indicate the potential power available within a ship in comparison to the power requirement of (current) lasers.





Originally posted by RichardPrice
You are entitled to disagree all you wish, but people have been asking similar questions for hundreds of years.


Erm...

Anti ship missiles have not been around for hundreds of years...



Nowhere have I said that naval warfare will become extinct, I'm stating that (in my opinion) it will undergo a paradigm shift, reversing the move from capital ship to aircraft carrier.


Such shifts have been numerous over the hundreds of years, I don't think anyone can deny that.




Originally posted by RichardPrice
In the 1940s and 1950s, there were a lot of people saying the US Navy was 'obsolete' because of air power advances. Oh look, the US still has a fully capable Navy and its still far from obsolete.


Pardon?

I'm not understanding that statement.


You saying the aircraft carriers that were instrumental in the destruction of the Japanese war machine were deemed obsolete post-WW2?

Or are you saying something else.



Originally posted by RichardPrice
Mounting lasers on ships won't make anti-ship missiles obsolete, any more than the introduction of the Phalanx CIWS did.


The CIWS is a limited system. Limited by a discrete fire rate and by range.

It is envisaged that a Laser Air Defense System (LADS) will eventually grow far beyond the current constraints of systems like the Phalanx.

Both in range and engagement times (i.e. power brought to bear on target).



Originally posted by RichardPrice
You say that like developing a laser based anti-missile system would be a breeze...


Work is already well underway...

Of course, nothing is easy, but its easier for the ship designer to package a LADS than it is for the missile designer to package a countermeasure against it.


Originally posted by RichardPrice
Right, tell that to the guys on the HMS Sheffield - sunk by an Exocet.

Or how about HMS Ardent, or RFA Sir Galahad, or HMS Coventry - sunk by 1000lb bombs.



Total misread.


The ship can bring mega-watts of electrical power to bear on the missile. The missile cannot exactly carry tons of extra shielding to deal with this (especially with regards control surfaces).



I'm not talking about kinetic energy and inertia. I'm talking about electrical power versus shielding weight.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 04:31 PM
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what would be the range of a shipborne laser system be vs sea skimming missiles?

I assume the average sea skimming missile comes in around 5-10 m above the surface but what is the average height of ciws systems?

i still think that a laser zeppelin is the best defense a naval fleet can have vs incoming missiles.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 05:47 PM
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Some interesting posts, and some inaccurate information.




Also, I should think the a Mach 4.0 missile with a maximum range of 500 km could withstand direct exposure to the laser for a little while seeing as it can withstand the heat from air friction at that speed.


The heat flux of a mach 4 missile (which isn't hypersonic) when traveling at altitude is not very high. The space shuttle experiences (mach 24 reentry) about 40 watts a square centimeter during reentry. A 100kw laser with a spot size of 10 square centimeters will, ideally, have a heat flux of 10,000 watts/cm2. Notice the difference? An anti-ship missile will not be able to withstand the the laser.

BTW, Kh-22 is retired.



However to track the incoming vampire, your radar has to see over the horizon anyhow.


The laser will be a CIWS with passive infrared target acquisition




I think we could see heavily shielded missels to counter lasers and because of the inherent short range of seaborne lasers it can be overwhelmed somewhat easy.

It will happen, one side will field a missile which has 30cm of high temperature ablative material on the front


It may not be that easy as ablative material was designed to endure uniform heating with nominal heat flux of several 100 watts cm2. In addition, the laser will burn off the ablative material in a non-uniform way, causing unstable aerodynamics.



Or the missile gets to 50KM out, goes ballistic and then goes 'dumb', requiring no guidance or anything. 2 tonnes of uranium at Mach 10 will put a pretty serious dent in anything.


Good luck with that




Its unlikely that any deployed laser will be powered directly from the ships power source, and more likely that it will be powered by buffering energy for a period of time. This allows you to build up gigawatts of power without requiring a huge, dedicated power supply.


This is a 100 kw laser we are talking about with an efficiency of 10% from power source to output beam. 1 megawatt of electricity is approx. 1340 horsepower. Easily attainable and sustainable by even a small ship. For example, lithium batteries have power outputs of 1.5 kw/kg. A 1 tonne battery bank can easily power the laser. As kilcoo said, Power is not a problem.




This missile can't be stopped. It's a stealth missile. If you can't see it, you can't shoot it down with lasers. It's the world's most advanced antiship missile.


Nothing is 100% invisible to radar, and as mentioned, the laser will undoubtedly use infrared detectors to acquire the target. Even a subsonic missile has ample infrared signature at short distances.




Mounting lasers on ships won't make anti-ship missiles obsolete, any more than the introduction of the Phalanx CIWS did


Agree, but the defense against anti-ship missiles will advance to a new level.





It takes stupendous power to actually damage or destroy something at a distance with a laser.
Second problem, a solid state laser is about 2% efficient
So any really powerful weapon will by necessity have a very slow rate of fire because of the low efficiency,
Third problem, the atmosphere disrupts and spreads any laser beam,
Fourth problem, a ship pitches and rolls.


1. Solid state Laser Power output has increased 10 fold over the past ten years. Secondly, issues like atmospheric absorption and beam quality are being addressed.
2. Actually, about 10% efficient
3. The solid state laser operates in wavelength that is ideal for atmospheric transmission. However, it will be hampered by atmospheric conditions, so it will not replace missiles.
4. Resolvable.

SS laser

SS laser video



posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 04:39 AM
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And a polished mirror finish finish on your missile will completely reflect and scatter any infrared laser pulse of any power..
Of course the "experts" will tell you that extremely effective mirrors can be used to bend and aim lasers at the source with almost perfect total reflective efficiency, but the same technology simply cannot work at the target.

Rubbish, a mirrored surface offers perfect protection from a laser weapon, cheap, so very simple, and it works.

Lasers have been around for over forty years, and for forty years practical and truly effective laser weapons have always remained well out of reach. Of course greedy defence contractors will tell Congress that for a few hundred million "they" can solve all the problems.

This crap has now been going on for forty years.

Any truly effective weapon is quickly deployed, and tested in battle, and then slowly upgraded.

Lasers are and always will be a future weapon with some little problems that just needs a lot more money poured into it. All the problems are solvable, just give us more money and we (think) we can do it. There is a sucker born every week.

I have been personally involved in this military laser research con, and have seen it work first hand.

Just give us more money, and we can cure cancer, get room temperature fusion to work, put a man on Mars, and produce an effective laser weapon.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 12:37 PM
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Despite all the arguments here, this type of laser, whether it's ship-borne or airborne, will be a very nice LAYER of defense around a ship.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 03:53 AM
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reply to post by HatTrick
 


Only if it works.

A very expensive high technology system that makes some civilians in the military industrial complex personally very wealthy, while giving the guys at sea a false sense of security is not a step in the right direction.

When these things are fully tested, deployed, and proven in battle I will change my mind.

But that is a very long way from being reality..



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by Silver Shadow
And a polished mirror finish finish on your missile will completely reflect and scatter any infrared laser pulse of any power..


Regarding mirrored surfaces and their effect on weapons grade Lasers - A few things to consider (this does apply more to megawatt lasers than kilowatt lasers however):

1.) No surface is 100% reflective.

The energy that is not reflected is dissipated by the surface as heat. As heat builds up, the reflectivity of the surface will decrease, and it decreases exponentially from that first contact. Obviously this will increase the time it takes for a laser to inflict damage on a target, but at the power levels we're talking about, it would be measured in nano or milliseconds as opposed to seconds.
It bears mentioning that mirrors for industrial lasers need to be water cooled, in spite of being over 99.5% reflective for this reason.

2.) For a surface to remain highly reflective, it has to be kept incredibly clean.

A $600 germanium mirror for a 500 watt CO2 laser can be easily destroyed in a fraction of a second if it has so much as the residue of a finger print that has been wiped off with a lens cloth without benefit of cleansing solvent.

For in-flight missiles to be able to reflect enough of a weapons-class laser beam to be impervious, they'd need to be polished to an optical grade and wiped off up to clean-room specs. Not the sort of thing that's practical in combat.

You must also consider that as the projectile flies through the air/atmosphere the heat generated, the humidity, air pollution, dust particles and general oxidation cause surface anomalies imediately upon being launched - this spotting on the projectile gives the attacking DEW ample nonreflective surface area to heat and thereby neutralize said missile.

3.) A surface is only reflective to a certain range of wavelengths.

As an example, the germanium mirror I talked about above is reflective to CO2 lasers in the far infrared wavelengths (10.6 microns), it is glossy black and completely unreflective to other wavelengths including visible light which as a reference centers around .4 microns.

On the other hand, a mirror for a Ruby laser, which outputs radiation at .69 microns is standard silver. If you switch the two mirrors with their respective lasers, each will shatter immediately.
.............

If an enemy were to armor their missiles with a reflective coating, provided they could keep it clean and polished throughout it's flight trajectory (impossible unless in a particle free perfect vacuum), the resonant cavity optics of the laser could theoretically be changed to amplify a wavelength that the shell or missile would be vulnerable to.

The ultimate laser weapons goal in the future is to have a free electron solid state laser - the laser operator could select any wavelength desired at the push of a button neautralizing the effectiveness of reflectivity and therefore decreasing the power needed to accomplish what is now accomplished with multiple megawatt devices.



[edit on 7-29-2009 by intelgurl]



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