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Shark The Military News Science Technology

High-Energy Laser Effector Tested On German Warship (upi.com) 71

Rheinmetall and the German armed forces have completed a recent test of their high-energy laser effector on a German warship. During the test, a 10-kilowatt high-energy laser, or HEL, was mounted on a MLG 27 light naval gun. The HEL was then used to track potential targets, which included unmanned aerial vehicles and stationary land targets. The test marked the first demonstration of the HEL on a naval platform, which Rheinmetall says revealed insights for developing future maritime HEL effectors.
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High-Energy Laser Effector Tested On German Warship

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  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @09:26AM (#51552111) Homepage

    High-Energy Laser Effector Tested On German Warship

    That is to say, it was on a German warship when it was tested. They didn't melt a German warship with a laser, which would have been way cooler.

    I don't know if they even melted anything. All it says is that they tracked stuff with it.

    And what's the difference between a laser and a laser effector?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Even worse. It isn't a laser at all. It is tracking device that could be used for a laser.

      • by Tx ( 96709 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @10:49AM (#51552235) Journal

        It's not just a tracking device; it appears that it was only used to track the targets in this instance, but that doesn't mean that that's all it can do. Have a look at this page [rheinmetall-defence.com] on the Rheinmetall HEL systems; these are definitely weapons. A 10kW system isn't covered there, but there is a 5kW system;

        In the 5kW laser category, the M113 Mobile HEL Effector Track V demonstrated its operational potential for disposing of unexploded ordnance and clearing battlefield obstacles. Without having to exit the vehicle’s protected fighting compartment, the crew detected mines and improvised explosive devices, irradiating them with the laser from a safe distance, which caused them to deflagrate in a matter of seconds. Afterwards the laser weapon successfully cleared a barbed wire obstacle at a distance of approximately 70 metres.

        So there's no way you need a 10kW for tracking; anything far enough away that you need a 10kW laser to track it would be way out of range of your guns. 10kW should be good for taking out UAVs etc, the kind of targets TFA says it was tracking during this test.

        • So there's no way you need a 10kW for tracking; anything far enough away that you need a 10kW laser to track it would be way out of range of your guns.

          Railguns!

        • by Threni ( 635302 )

          > So there's no way you need a 10kW for tracking; anything far enough away that you need a 10kW laser to track
          > it would be way out of range of your guns.

          Tracking it to provide accurate location data to troops, drones, missiles, ships etc nearer it, or which may eventually be nearer to it?

      • And it certainly isn't novel or newsworthy. Many countries have been developing HEL weapons for decades.

        The "first" was a country taking the system off its testbed and calling newspapers to show it off.
      • Who cares. It certainly looks like a badass laser cannon. 8)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It also sounds overpowered for its intended purposes. Not that I know a significant amount about tracking objects at doezens of km.

        That being said, 1W of pulsed laser energy is sufficent to start ablating material at focus. So it could just easily be the writer misunderstanding the fundamentals of laser physics and that average power is not the same as peak power. 1uJ ns pulses @ 1Mhz != 1uJ/ns, 1W vs. 1kW.

    • by Tx ( 96709 )

      And what's the difference between a laser and a laser effector?

      I was wondering this myself. I can't immediately find a definition of the term, but it seems to be common parlance in defence circles. I would guess that it is used to differentiate laser weapons from lasers used for targeting etc, a laser effector being one that "has an effect" on the target, beyond simply illuminating it. But I could be wrong.

    • They are using the laser instead of radar to track the target, the laser isn't strong enough to melt it.
      • (facepalm) it i a 10kw laser ... did you actually even read the summary?

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Meh, who cares, the more modern your military becomes the more susceptible it becomes. So stuff like stealth has now become all fashioned because it can not actually hide anything more through the air fast because you can not hide that movement of air and changes in water vapour density. So the big switch from hiding to blinding takes place. How do you shut how high tech gear, the electro magnetic pulse. So get your fighter bomber, tweak the front turbine blades so as they spin they generate scads of elect

    • by BeauHD ( 4450103 ) Works for Slashdot
      The feeling is mutual... I had to re-read the article/title a couple times to get the facts straight.

      I'm expecting the Germans to follow-up with an actual test on a German warship in a time-lapse video -- it needs to happen.
    • At least it was the peaceful and fun loving Germans who have it and not some trouble making nation.
    • They didn't melt a German warship with a laser, which would have been way cooler.

      Oh come one, forgive and forget. It's been 70 years since Pearl Harbor.

      I mean that's nearly as long ago as Bunker fucking Hill and Bannockburrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn, and nobody at all ever goes on about those, do they?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Better headline: "German Warship fires High-Energy Laser"

    • I've seen that movie...........

  • Should we interpret the lack of details as a failure ?
  • .. it wasn't a British warship - I don't want to relive 1939 and all that again.
  • WTF is an effector?

    I dont speak german

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They must have done something to get one of their warships melted.

  • It was tested while *mounted on* a German warship, not not tested *upon* a German ship. One of those readings is significantly less ominous!

  • I was hoping to sit back and have German laser popped popcorn.

  • You can't post stories about "lasers" and NOT post a link to a video!!! There are none linked from the article itself, either. Tease!

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