US Navy Times says in its article “Pew! Pew! Pew! Laser-armed warships no longer science fiction” that the US has successfully tested a 150-kilowatt laser gun but it cannot be installed on US warships due to its enormous consumption of electricity. According to the article only Zumwalt-class destroyer can generate enough electricity for the laser gun as it can produce 58 megawatts of power. However, the US only has three such destroyers.
China, however, has installed laser guns on its warships since 2015 as it had developed very powerful laser stacks of very small size for laser gun. The following are photos taken in 2015 of the laser stacks and warship laser gun. They were described in my posts in 2015.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Navy Times’ report, full text can be viewed at https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/05/06/pew-pew-pew-laser-armed-warships-no-longer-science-fiction/
by Task and Purpose April 9, 2019
Here is what we know.
China’s ZKZM-500 “non-lethal” laser assault rifle, a handheld directed energy weapon billed as a “laser AK-47″ that can purportedly ignite the clothing of targets nearly a half-mile away, is ready to be mass produced for state security forces, according to a highly dubious report in the South China Morning Post.
(This article by Jared Keller originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2018.)
Before I get into why, exactly, this report is highly dubious, here are some deets.
– Researchers responsible for developing the prototype laser weapon at the Chinese Academy of Sciences claim it can “burn through clothes in a split second,” leading to “instant carbonization [sic]” of organic tissue.
– “If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire,” researchers told the South China Morning Post. “The pain will be beyond endurance.”
– The ZKZM-500 has a rechargeable 1000-shot lithium battery and weight profile similar to the AK-47.
– The South China Morning Post reports that the futuristic rifle is likely destined for state police counterterrorism squads.
– But researchers also see potential applications for covert military operations like disabling enemy infrastructure or fuel resources: “Nobody will know where the attack came from …It will look like an accident.”
Look, I’m extremely skeptical of most breathless reports regarding futuristic military tech (with the occasional exception), so there are a few things that are immediately suspect here.
– Range and weight are described, but the actual power system is not. Sure, anyone can claim OPSEC here, but it is hard to believe that the Chinese engineered a powerful-enough directed energy beam that can torch enemies from a half-mile away without being refracted by environmental factors like dust or fog — all with “a rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those found in smartphones.”
– The author of the story refers to this boxy piece of nonesense as a “15mm caliber weapon.” I didn’t realize laser weapons had caliber? Oh wait, they don’t.
– The South China Morning Post isn’t state-run media (it’s owned by the Alibaba Group), but the story does come amid reported progress in the Chinese military’s electromagnetic railgun program. This one-two punch of groundbreaking directed energy weapon news — an area where the United States has lagged in recent years — suggest the ZKZM-500 update could just be another piece of science fiction propaganda designed to rankle the Pentagon.
Last point: Heat-based weapons are usually bull. Consider, for example, the time T&P’s Pentagon correspondent Jeff Schogol stood directly in front of a non-lethal Active Denial System meant for crowd control and didn’t even break a sweat. (This blogger’s comment: What the US cannot do does not mean China cannot do either) Sure, lasers have come a long way since 2007, but this far? I doubt it.
Source: National Interest “China Claims This ‘Laser AK-47’ Can Set You On Fire”
Note: This is National Interest’s article of self-deceit to deny the fact China has caught up and surpass the US in laser weapon development. I reblog it to show how desperate US analyst is.
It is common sense that Russia and China military cooperation will add wings to two tigers; therefore, Trump has tried in vain to improve relations with Russia in order to drive a wedge into the Russia-China alliance which has been made possible by the stupid strategy of his predecessor.
SCMP has two reports today on Russian technologies greatly enhancing Chinese military’s capabilities.
First, it says that China’s test of S400 air defense system imported from Russia proves the system’s ability to hit a supersonic ballistic missile at the speed of 3km per second in its report “Chinese missile force puts new Russian S-400 air defence system to the test” (at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2179564/chinese-missile-force-puts-new-russian-s-400-air-defence-system).
Second, according to its report “China makes turbine blade breakthrough that could give Type 055 guided-missile destroyers an edge” (at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2179553/china-makes-turbine-blade-breakthrough-could-give-type-055) with Russian help, China has achieved “Milestone” advance in turbine blade development to “give Type 055 guided-missile destroyer an edge”.
The blade is “the core component of 330-megawatt gas turbines”. With such powerful turbines the destroyers may be equipped with super efficient integrated electric propulsion systems (IEPS) that would allow it to operate high-energy, hi-tech weapons such as laser guns and rail guns much more powerful than conventional weapons.
If such blade is used in the gas turbines of China’s new aircraft carriers, there will be sufficient energy for electromagnetic catapults.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s reports.
SCMP says in its report “China has strongest fibre that can haul 160 elephants – and a space elevator?” today that Chinese scientists in Tsinghua University has developed the strongest fiber in the world, 1 cubic centimeter of which only 1.6 gram in weight won’t break under the weight of 800 tonnes.
The fiber is made of carbon nanotube of tensile strength at least 9 to 45 times that of other materials. Scientists want to use it in space elevator connecting a geostatic satellite with the ground.
Such a lift is very complicated. It will take a long time to develop though Chinese, Russian, American and Japanese scientists have been making great efforts to develop it according to the report. However, the fiber will be “in great demand in many high-end fields such as sports equipment, ballistic armour, aeronautics, astronautics and even space elevators” said its development team.
One example is superfast flywheels in a mechanical battery with 40 times the energy density of a lithium battery, A Tesla Model S could travel for 16,000km in one charge – the distance from London to Sydney.
Of course, such battery will first be used militarily in railgun, laser gun, electromagnetic catapult, etc.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2170193/china-has-strongest-fibre-can-haul-160-elephants-and-space
Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report yesterday that according to Chinese military experts, China’s 12,500-ton Type 055 destroyer will serve as flagship of a carrier strike fleet as it is a satisfactory stealth warship with air defense, anti-ship, anti-submarine and ground attack capabilities and as it is much bigger than Type 052D destroyer to contain equipment and provide room for command of a large fleet.
Military experts believe the destroyer will be armed with railguns and laser guns to enhance its fire power.
According to military expert Yin Zhuo, there is no significant technological disparity between this destroyer and the advanced warships of the advanced countries in the world.
Another military expert Cao Weidong believes that Type 055 is rival to US Ticonderoga-class cruiser in displacement and combat capabilities
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Expert: 055 destroyer may additionally be armed with electromagnetic gun to serve as ‘chief of guard’ for an aircraft carrier” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
SCMP says in its report “China brings Star Wars to life with ‘laser AK-47’ that can set fire to targets a kilometre away” yesterday that China has developed a lazer gun with the range of 800 meters. The producer says that it is not a lethal weapon but it can set fire on targets within its range and “if fired at a person for long enough the weapons would start to burn a hole in their body, cutting through them like a surgical knife.”
The gun weighs 3 kolos (6.6lb), about the same as an AK-47. It is “powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those found in smartphones. It can fire more than 1,000 “shots”, each lasting no more than two seconds” according to the report.
Its producer Chengdu Hengan Police Equipment Manufacturing company is ready for mass production of the gun.
The report says, “In 2009 a US attempt to design a handheld laser gun resulted in something that ‘only works on nudists’ because its beam was too weak to even penetrate a shirt.” China has succeeded perhaps due to abundant government funding.
Source: SCMP “China brings Star Wars to life with ‘laser AK-47’ that can set fire to targets a kilometre away” (summary of the report by Chan Kai Yee, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2153310/china-brings-star-wars-life-laser-ak-47-could-set-fire.
A peek at the arsenal at an arms fair in Dubai.
By Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer February 28, 2017
At the International Defense Exhibition and Conference, one of the world’s largest arms fairs, weapons-makers from around the world show off their latest. At this year’s show in Dubai, China flaunted a range of high-tech weaponry spread across over 16,000 square feet of floor space. Included: S-20 attack submarines, FC-31 stealth fighter jets, and updates to laser and drone weaponry.
Let’s start with lasers. Poly Technologies showed off The Silent Hunter, one of the world’s most powerful laser weapons. It claims an output of at least 50-70 kilowatts, which would make it more powerful than the 33-kilowatt laser weapon systems (LaWS) currently deployed on the USS Ponce. The laser is probably based on a smaller anti-drone laser, the Low Altitude Guard. That’s enough to knock out automobiles by burning out their engines from over a mile away, as the 30-kilowatt Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser demonstrated in 2015. The Silent Hunter uses fibre optic lasers (fibre optics doped with rare earth minerals), which provide weight savings over chemical lasers through increasing optical gain by kilometers of coiled fibre optics (as opposed to bulky chemical lasers). The Silent Hunter is likely to be scaled up and equipped with radars to complement its optical/infrared tracking system, making it a capable close range defense system against enemy missiles, artillery, drones and aircraft.
The CH-5 drone is China’s largest UCAV offered for export, with a fuel-efficient turboprop engine that gives it a 4,400-mile range and 60 hour flight time (soon to become 12,000 miles and 120 hours of flight). In addition to carrying one ton of weapons, its communications systems allows its controller to use the plane as a relay station for controlling other drones. It could also benefit from breakthroughs in Chinese AI to work as part of an autonomous drone swarm in the future.
In the robotics category, there was also a tracked unmanned ground vehicle armed with a forward firing machine gun. Weighing between 50 and 100 pounds, it could be carried by platoon level units for patrol and breaching duties.
Conventional ground vehicles were also on display for sale. The 52-ton VT-4 tank is already an export success, with the sale of a battalion to Thailand. The VT-4 is a scaled-down version of the heavy ZTZ-99A tank, and can fire 125mm armor-piercing and guided munitions. Additionally, the VT-4 can reportedly be fitted with an active protection system (APS) to physically destroy enemy missiles targeting the tank. The PLZ-52 self-propelled howitzer has the ability to shoot an extended-range 155mm shell to a range of 62 miles, along with more conventional munitions to a maximum range of 32 to 37 miles. Given that the PLZ-52’s predecessor, the PLZ-45, found fans in Kuwait, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, the PLZ-05 is likely to be popular in foreign markets.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) recently came out with report that China is “near parity” with western nations in terms of indigenous defense technology. As we can see from IDEX 2017, that is playing out in fields that range from tanks to lasers. And as the Chinese defense industry innovates more, it will likely grab an even bigger share of international arms sales.
Source: Popular Science “Drones, lasers, and tanks: China shows off its latest weapons”
Note: This is Popular Science’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.