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Originally posted by virgom129
reply to post by Phage
Personally I think you could have added your thoughts to the existing thread here www.abovetopsecret.com...
Or atleast given credit to the original OP...
The Laser Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) can either be used on its own or alongside a gunnery system.
In May, the laser was used to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a series of tests.
Raytheon said the solid state fibre laser produces a 50 kilowatt beam and can be used against UAV, mortar, rockets and small surface ships.
The idea of using lasers as weapons has been around almost as long as the laser itself, invented in 1960.
Record power for military laser
'Laser jumbo' testing moves ahead
Initially, the systems were chemical lasers, which get their power from a chemical reaction. They are very large pieces of equipment and are very fuel hungry, requiring a significant quantity of chemicals to drive them. The fuel is frequently toxic, requiring operators to don protective clothing.
Solid state lasers, in contrast, consist of a glass or ceramic material to generate a laser beam.
They are smaller, more compact and only require an energy input to generate the beam, although the energy required is still significant.
However, until recently, solid state lasers were not able to reach the same power levels as chemical lasers and so were not deemed suitable for military use.