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The Next Generation of Battlefield Energy Weapons

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low-cost, high-efficiency weapon systems, such as lasers and microwaves

The dictionary meaning of “directed energy” is energy generated by properties in which intensity, such as light or electromagnetic waves, changes depending on direction. For example, lasers or microwaves can be called a “directional energy weapon” which concentrates this directional energy in one place and increases the output.

Meanwhile, weapons that used directional energy were imaginary weapons that would appear in science fiction movies, such as laser cannons. In recent years, however, with technological advancements, it has become a weapon that can be found in reality, and it has attracted attention.

have the advantage of exceeding the limits of powder-based weapons

Why do you want to develop directional energy as a weapon? This is because it has the ability to overcome the limitations of conventional powder-based weapons. Gunpowder-based weapons have several challenges in terms of transporting and handling ammunition by weight and volume.

however, weapons such as laser guns are opposed to directional energy. You don’t need to carry or store ammunition, and you can fire large amounts of fire on a single charge without having to reload. the low operating cost makes it easy to operate and the ability to continue operations is excellent.

It can also intercept enemy ballistic missiles at low altitudes, or mount them on satellites or drones to attack enemy aircraft or missiles. therefore, in the near future, laser weapons together with gunpowder-based weapons will be equipped with complementary use.

this is not the only thing. Laser cannons can aim at targets with precision and can be used to hit targets located at long distances because they can fire ultra-long distances. It is still premature, but if it is smaller and lighter than it is today, it can be used not only for rifles but also for drones and robots.

The reason that laser weapons can attack at this long distance is because of their straightness, which allows them to move forward without being affected by gravity. Gunpowder-based weapons have a “ballistic curve” due to gravity when they reach a certain distance after launch.

Weapons

Affordability is also one of the factors that shows you need to switch from powder-based weapons to directional energy weapons. Compared to gunpowder-based weapons, which cost tens of dollars for a single launch, Directional Energy weapons cost only about $ 1 or less.

if laser-powered weapons are being developed with the goal of “destruction”, the goal is to “neutralize” enemy systems through the use of microwaves. to stop or interrupt the operation of the system and prevent its use.

When the microwave reaches the enemy’s weapon system, a sudden high voltage is produced in various electronics mounted inside, causing the chip or substrate to burn out. the more advanced the weapon system, the more electronic components it will be equipped, so if these components stop working, of course the weapon system will have problems.

In particular, microwaves have the advantage of having little effect on human life or harmful compounds, but only on electronic systems within weapons and structures. For example, when attacking a chemical weapons factory, attacking with an existing powder weapon can leak toxic chemicals into the air, but firing microwaves will only shut down the plant, which can have the same effect.

of course, directional energy weapons don’t have the advantages. In the case of laser guns, in weather conditions such as rain, snow and fog, deviations in terms of accuracy may occur. Being a weapon that uses the directionality of light, it is affected by environmental factors such as atmospheric conditions, thus it undergoes changes in the index of refraction and scattering effects.

in the case of microwaves, the disadvantage is that the precision is reduced. Due to the nature of electromagnetic waves, it is likely to destroy systems other than targets. For example, if an enemy fighter is flying and an ally’s fighter is nearby, firing microwaves can cause trouble for allied fighters.

conduct a variety of field tests prior to production deployment

While several countries are reviewing the use of directed energy weapons in practice, the UK Ministry of Defense recently signed an agreement with the global defense company Thales to introduce small laser guns.

According to an announcement by the British Ministry of Defense, small laser guns installed in combat equipment and armored vehicles are being introduced to attack drones that are used for reconnaissance or self-destruction on the battlefield. The project is one of the “New Arms Programs” promoted by the UK Ministry of Defense.

Weapons

Field tests will take place in 2023, two years after the next two years, and during the three-year test period until 2025, the British navy and army plan to verify the viability of the laser cannons and their possible deployment. .

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE WEAPON USING MICROWAVES IS THOR FROM THE US AIR FORCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE THOR, A WEAPON THAT USES POWERFUL MICROWAVES TO FIRE DRONES, ALSO KNOWN TO BE ABLE TO FIRE LONG DISTANCES.

Most notably, missiles or laser guns can shoot down only one drone at a time when attacking it, but Thor can crash it in an instant, even if the drone is swarming.



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