BAE-Boeing Laser Weapon For MK 38 Chain Gun
MK 38 chain gun to receive solid state laser upgrade...
The U.S. Navy is desperately seeking a laser weapon upgrade for its military war ships, and that dream is just around the corner. Following several contracts awarded for similar research and development, BAE-Systems announced it was working on its own maritime laser, this time to be incorporated into its deadly close-in MK 38 chain gun – a 250 millimeter cannon that can fire up to 180 rounds per minute.
For almost two years, BAE-system has been working together with Boeing – a company that have already had success with its Laser Avenger – to develop add a solid-state high-energy laser beam addition to the latest version of the close-in weapons system, the MK 38 Mod 2.
MK-38 Chain Gun
Upgrades to the system will include remote-control capability – previous versions were manually operated – as well as an electro-optical/IR sensor to detect and track incoming targets. The system also provides the ability to deliver different levels of laser energy, depending on the target and mission objectives.
Although the BAE-Boeing laser will only output 10 kilowatts of power – around a 10th of what the military are working towards – other laser weapons such as the Maritime Laser Weapon have shown that it’s perfectly possible to destroy targets with just 15 kilowatts of power.
Raytheon is also perfecting a solid-state laser modification to its Phalanx Close-in Weapons System (CIWS) and the Navy is also researching other type of high-energy laser called the Free Electron Laser.
With many of these systems already being successfully tested, maritime lasers look set to become the next-gen weapon for U.S. military war ships.
- Claw Dillow: How to Make a Giant Chain Gun Even Deadlier: Give It a Laser Cannon. Popular Science, 07/26/2011.
- BAE Putting Lasers on Mk 38 Naval Gun. Defense Tech, 07/25/2011.