JED - January 2016 - (Page 23)

Light Saber - By Richard Scott N ow enjoying a second life as an interim afloat forward staging base in the Persian Gulf, USS Ponce (AFSB[I]-15) will in July 2016 celebrate the 45th anniversary of its commissioning. Based with the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, the former amphibious transport dock vessel is today primarily tasked to provide support to mine countermeasures and special operations missions in theater. Yet, while it is one of the oldest ships in the US Navy, Ponce is also host to a novel weapon that is, most likely, writing the first lines of a new chapter in naval warfare. Mounted in a deckhouse atop the bridge, the AN/SEQ-3 (XN-1) Laser Weapon System (LaWS) prototype is a Solid State Laser - Quick Reaction Capability (SSL-QRC) system being used to provide early operational insights intended to pave the way for follow-on development and, potentially, a future program of record. 23 HEL JOURNEY Of course, it should be remembered that high-energy laser (HEL) weapons have been a long time in the making. The science and technology efforts that have delivered LaWS onto the front-line in the Persian Gulf can trace their early origins back to the late 1960s - right about the same time that the Ponce's steel hull was taking shape in Seattle. That journey, which has latterly culminated in the SSL-QRC deployment, has not always been easy. Numerous technical hurdles have presented themselves, technology has not always matured as anticipated, and some initially promising solutions have turned out to be impractical or unworkable. As a result, transitioning HEL weapon system concepts from the lab to the front line has not occurred in anything like the timescales that many had predicted. Early HEL research focused on CO2 gas dynamic laser technology. However, attention soon shifted to continuous wave deuterium fluoride chemical lasers (operating in the mid-infra- The Journal of Electronic Defense | January 2016 LaWS Prototype Brings Directed Energy onto the Front-Line The LaWS system seen on board USS Ponce in November 2015. The SSLQRC deployment has been extended into 2016. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX) red wavelength) because they propagate far better in the sea level maritime atmosphere than the radiation produced by CO2 lasers (which suffered significantly from thermal blooming). The first attempt at an experimental demonstrator was the TRW-built Navy Advanced Chemical Laser (NACL) prototype, this being paired with the Hughes Navy Pointer/Tracker (NPT) as a beam control device. In March 1978, the NACL/NPT combination succeeded in shooting down TOW missiles in flight (at low altitude, high speed and on crossing trajectories). In the late 1970s, the Navy funded a megawatt-class deuterium fluoride HEL demonstrator known as the Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL). TRW took principal responsibility for system development, while Hughes was the lead for the SeaLite Beam Director.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - January 2016

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
On the Brink: Laser Wars Not Just a Movie Fantasy
Light Saber – LaWS Prototype Brings Directed Energy Onto the Front-Line
Technology Survey: RF Signal Generators
Threat Monitor
EW 101
AOC News: Views from the AOC Symposium and Convention
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - January 2016

http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0318
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0218
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0118
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1017
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0917
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0817
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0717
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0617
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0517
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0317
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1016
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0916
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0816
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0716
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0616
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0516
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0416
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0316
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1015
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0915
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0815
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0715
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0615
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0515
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0415
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0315
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1014
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0914
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0814
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0714
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0614
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0514
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0414
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0314
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1213
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1113
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1013
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0913
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0813
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0713
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0613
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0513
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0413
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0313
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0908
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com