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Yesterday, the two defense contractors announced that they are jointly developing a demonstration model Mk 38 with dual capabilities. The chain gun--originally designed to be manually aimed and fired--will now be remote-controlled and use an electro-optical/IR sensor ball to detect and track incoming targets, like UAVs or small watercraft (like the one that perpetrated the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen several years ago).
But according to a BAE-Boeing announcement, “the system also provides the ability to deliver different levels of laser energy, depending on the target and mission objectives.” Danger Room tells us that the fiber laser system can pack up to 10 kilowatts of punch, far below what the U.S. military has previously considered weapons grade but nonetheless effective--just a few months ago an Office of Naval Research laser fried the engine of a small watercraft with a 15 kilowatt beam (though that was designed to be scaled up to a more impressive 100 kilowatts).
Presumably, the Mk 38’s laser package could be upgraded as well, making the death ray part of the system quite a bit deadlier. Which is good, considering that sea air--rife with moisture and particulate stuff that degrades focused laser beams--compounds the many problems inherent in laser weapons systems.
Originally posted by Jugtalicus
reply to post by SaturnFX
Because a regular old chaingun isnt enough to stop a small watercraft or a UAV drone...
These "defense contractors" dont give a # and will gladly make bull# like this when the price is right...
You know that saying money is the root of all evil? Well...thats partially true, its also the string by which we are controlled.
Originally posted by xFiDgetx
And to you Saturn, you should put a little Nessie or Godzilla in the water at the business end of that hoaky freaking laser beam in the photo.
Originally posted by centurion1211
Uh, the laser component is most likely for advanced missile defense.
You know those "hypersonic carrier killer" missiles some here are always bragging that their country now has to deal with U.S. sea power juggernaut.
Laser could conceivably track and shoot much faster than the conventional gun.