Boeing’s new Compact Laser Weapon System (LWS) breaks down into four parts, each transportable by one or two Marines. Boeing says these components include:
* a battery
* a water-cooled chiller
* a commercially available fiber laser
* an upgraded beam director, weighing 40% less than a previous model.
In total, the system weighs about 650 pounds and would probably be operated by a squad of eight to 12 soldiers or Marines.
Able to be assembled in just 15 minutes, LWS is capable of generating an energy beam of up to 10 kilowatts that can, depending on the power level, be used to acquire, track, and identify a target — or even destroy it — at ranges of at least 22 miles. The weapon is designed specifically to track and attack moving aerial targets such as incoming artillery rounds, and low-flying aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Setting Up a compact laser weapon ststem at marine squad tactics exercise in Yuma, Arizona. Image Source: USMC.
Within five years the energy density of the batteries could be doubled and the other components should also be further reduced in size to get the system down to 200-300 pounds.
With 10 kilowatt lasers in that size range, 200-300 kilowatt lasers could fit into the truck sized systems.
The Navy systems should be at the megawatt level.
SOURCES – Fool.com