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Document: Report to Congress on Navy Laser, Railgun and Hypervelocity Projectile Programs

The following is the May. 25, 2015 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Lasers, Railgun and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress.

  • Curtis Conway

    While the lighter and smaller footprint units may take a while to perfect, to put larger and heavier units on the ships we have that will now be shooters, and have the space and weight to give should be the focus. The LPD-17 platform provides greater opportunities for integration. Provisions for additional power and energy storage will most likely be required in that ECP/ORDALT. However, that brings the capability to the fleet faster and provides greater lethality to an entire class of ship here to fore not seen as a contributor of defense to that level, in accordance with the CNO’s desires, and brings more shooters on line faster. In fact a new type of Surface Combatant may be created that also incorporates the larger format 69-RMA AMDR which not only provides Battle Group Defense, but Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability as well.

    The smaller more efficient units can come on line as development yields these capabilities. It is possible to achieve a ‘soft kill’ disabling a weapon without its outright kinetic destruction, although that is preferred.

    A homogeneous passive detection, tracking, and direction combat system should be in development taking greater advantage of the passive side of the electromagnetic spectrum part of the War At Sea equation. In the not-too distant future a passive platform will be much more conducive to survival than an active one constantly advertising its location. That capability would use the Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) as optical devices for final evaluation and ultimate engagement, while other wideband and larger area detection devices would detect and track movement against a contrasting background, and IR energy. A new Small Surface Combatant, such as a frigate, could very easily be the introductory platform for such a combat system.

    As a basic research investment, our institutions of higher learning should conquer the Unified Field Theory as an enabling technology demonstration pursuant to the next generation of Directed Energy Weapons.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Development and implementation of such systems is a must. “Going Winchester” and having to leave a battle scene to replenish empty missile batteries, etc. is not an option when the outcome of future naval battles will be determined within minutes, if not seconds. Hopefully at least two of the three new weapon systems will become standard equipment in our surface fleet, pulling the rug out from under those invested heavily in ASCM’s and ASBM’s.

  • Secundius

    I Wonder about “Generally Atonic” (General Atomics) Rail-Gun Program. In light of the EMAL Program for the Ford class Aircraft Carriers, whether Their STILL in the Game or OUT for the Foreseeable Future…