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50-kW laser weapon passes tests

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2013
Rheinmetall AG’s new 50-kW high-energy laser weapon technology demonstrator has tested successfully in snowy conditions and blinding sunlight. The 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.


Rheinmetall’s new 50-kW high-energy laser weapon technology demonstrator passed testing in snowy conditions and blinding sunlight.


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, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, is a global automotive components and defense equipment technology group.


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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