Future Technology

Laser-Powered Vehicles Are the Future of Military Hardware

Laser-Powered Vehicles, Increased Firepower May Give U.S. Army & Allies Decisive Advantage
PHOTOGRAPH: U.S. Army | At AUSA2016, panel discussions revolved around how the U.S. Army is addressing today’s threats from external forces while ensuring tomorrow’s combat readiness.

Innovation is the current buzzword, one that the U.S. Army has taken seriously as it undertakes big steps in modernizing its combat vehicles. Since last year, the Army has partnered with General Dynamics Land Systems to integrate laser weapons onto vehicles like the Stryker.

The laser weapons should be able to recognize and intercept drones, mortar shells and other airborne or ground threats. General Dynamics (maker of the Stryker armored fighting vehicle and Abrams tank) and the Army are also looking at integrating  a jamming system to the weapon, so it does not have to fire a shot to take down a threat.

During panel discussions at the recent annual Association of the United States Army’s exposition (the largest military trade show in the U.S.)  in Washington, experts discussed the biggest threats combat vehicles must be prepared to overcome. These include armor-piercing-guided munitions (APGMs) – such as rocket-propelled grenades – cyber-disruptions, and nuclear weaponry.

The army disclosed the expected roll-out of the operational units by 2035.  Until then, everyone may benefit from productive discussions about how alliances can yield positive outcome, and how modern weapons technology can be used for safeguarding the lives of people deployed in the field.

FUTURISTIC WAR VEHICLES

Such huge efforts in developing futuristic war vehicles with mounted laser weapons were exerted with the protection of soldiers who troop to the battlefield in mind. These soldiers have become accustomed to approaching enemy mortar rounds, rockets and gunfire attacks. They normally know that possible future adversaries may use artillery, launch drones, cruise missiles, and other weapons.

The partnership has focused on the upgrading of  laser power from two kilowatts to five kilowatts. The laser weapon system utilizes its own tracking radar to acquire targets in the event that other sensors on the combat vehicle are disabled during combat.

Boeing is the maker of the fire-control technology for integration into the laser weapon. The laser is also integrated with air-defense and field artillery networks. Given the fast-changing landscape of war, tactical vehicles and new technologies/weaponry may be what a country needs to obtain a decisive advantage when faced with external threats.

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