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[Bellingcat] Did Drones Attack Maduro in Caracas?
Islamic State SVBIED use and innovation
SS: Raytheon is developing a mobile 100 kW laser weapon system under the U.S. Army’s $10 million High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration (HEL TVD) program contract.
In a recent news release, Raytheon said the 100 kW laser would be mounted on a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV).
“The beauty of this system is that it’s self-contained,” said Roy Azevedo, vice president of Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business unit.
As Azevedo adds, “multi-spectral targeting sensors, fiber-combined lasers, power and thermal sub-systems are incorporated in a single package. This system is being designed to knock out rockets, artillery or mortar fire, or small drones."
Ahead of the coming "hybrid wars", the Army recognizes that lasers could provide a significant advantage over its adversaries. Laser weapons have “unlimited” ammunition, as long as a power plant can continue to deliver energy. With an average cost per kill of $30, laser weapons are significantly cheaper than traditional kinetic weapons, such as mortars and rockets that can range from several hundred to thousands of dollars per round.
The Army will test and evaluate the mounted laser system on an FMTV in the first half of 2019. If successful, a three-year system development, and demonstration contract estimated at $130 million, to build and integrate a weapon system, could be next. The Army hopes by the Fiscal year 2022, the HEL TVD will have enough data through field training exercises that it could enter service shortly thereafter.
However, it is not just Washington and its military-industrial-complex mounting laser systems on exciting things. China announced earlier this week that its ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle could “burn through clothes in a split second… If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire.
So as Washington mounts lasers on dune buggies, tanks, and trucks, China is also testing and deploying laser weapon systems of its own, as both countries gear up for the next round of hybrid conflcit that could emerge some time in the mid-2020s or sooner. All this is, of course, happening in the context of the greatest Thucydides Trap in modern history: one in which China's army and military spending is expected to surpass that of the US, some time in the late 2030, on its way to becoming the world's dominant military (and perhaps economic) superpower
China announced earlier this week that its ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle could “burn through clothes in a split second… If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire.
That was almost 100% certainly complete BS.
It’s going to be integrated into IFPC, and while that is for C-RAM right now it raises some interesting questions going forward. At what point does directed energy enter the SHORAD discussion?
Another decade of further developments and improvements in power almost certainly puts it there, albeit very limitedly. IIRC a CRS report said in naval terms “battle group defense” needs a 1–3 megawatt power range, and that’s probably against cruise missiles.