ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD, AUG 6 -- Scientists at the Army Research Laboratory, working with other Army researchers, have successful demonstrated
a new firing method that may change the way the military fires large caliber cannons.
The Laser Ignition System (LIS) uses a laser, as the name implies, and requires no primer or igniter materials to fire the weapon, according to Dr.
Brad Forch, chief of the Ignition and Combustion Branch of the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate. The system was developed in response to the
need for fully automated loading and firing cannon systems.
Currently, all large caliber Army cannons use a primer and igniter material to ignite the propellant charge. A soldier needs to load the projectile
into the cannon, insert a primer into the gun breech, then fire the gun while standing at the rear of the weapon by pulling a lanyard that initiates
the firing process through either impact or electrically. The LIS eliminates the need for the soldier to stand behind the weapon since the laser is
computer controlled and is therefore safer.
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