Everybody knows that all things are better with lasers, now the US Navy have one hell of a laser. Approved for deployment this week by the Office of Naval Research the Northrop Grumman developed SSL-TM (Solid State Laser Technology Maturation) weapons system will be tested for the next year aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. Just don’t be calling the captain a ponce effeminate man, Navy men really don’t like that and now he has a laser.
Requiring only one man to operate the system and costing a dollar per shot this is one of the most cost effective pieces of extreme weaponry. Perhaps the coolest aspect though is the fact that it is controlled via what looks very much like a PlayStation Controller. Is this Call of Duty come to life?
The Rules of Engagement have been set over the last year and apparently the SSL-TM is not to be fired at human targets. This still leaves all manner of distant objects to fry; missiles, boats and drones were all easily blasted to pieces with the system during testing. You would seriously hate to be Seagull accidentally crossing this lasers beam, smells like fried chicken.
The total power output of the system is currently 30kW using six 5.4kW fibre lasers to form the beam. During testing technicians even discovered that the target acquisition and tracking system can even be used for long range surveillance, they like to think of it as the Hubble Telescope of the seas.
The US Navy may be doing far more than just posturing with this latest display of high tech fire power, this doesn’t seem to be just race to the future of weaponry, this is one hell of a don’t mess with me message.