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  • 50-kW Laser Weapon Passes Tests

Photonics.com
Dec 2012
DÜSSELDORF, Germany, Dec. 20, 2012 — Rheinmetall has successfully tested its new 50-kW high-energy laser weapon technology demonstrator.

Rheinmetall, a global automotive components and defense equipment technology group, tested the laser at its Ochsenboden Proving Ground in Switzerland, in snowy conditions and blinding sunlight. It demonstrated a fivefold increase in laser power over its previous 10-kW version, which was demonstrated last year.


Rheinmetall successfully tested its new 50-kW high-energy laser weapon technology demonstrator in snowy conditions and blinding sunlight at its Ochsenboden Proving Ground in Switzerland. Image ©2012 Rheinmetall Air Defence AG.

The technology demonstrator consisted of two functional models: a 30-kW weapon station integrated into an Oerlikon revolver gun air defense turret for static and dynamic tests, coupled with an Oerlikon Skyguard fire control unit; and a 20-kW weapon station integrated into a first-generation Revolver Gun turret, patched in for static tests. There were additional modules for supplying power.

The device cut through a 15-mm-thick steel girder at a range of 1000 m, shot down several diving target unmanned aerial vehicles at a range of 2 km flying more than 50 m/s, and engaged an 82-mm-diameter steel ball representing a mortar round and traveling approximately 50 m/s.

Rheinmetall plans to build a 60-kW technology demonstrator in 2013 and integrate 35-mm Ahead Revolver Guns into the system to identify and study possible synergies between laser weapons and automatic cannon. The company will continue work on mobile high-energy laser weapons on different platforms.

For more information, visit: www.rheinmetall.com


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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