Laser weapons seduce the Anglo-Saxons

British and American industrialists and general staffs do not hide their determination to design and deploy directed energy weapons, whether in the naval, land or air domain. 3 projects have been confirmed and detailed in recent days:

  • The Shield program intended to equip fighter planes and bombers with laser devices 
  • The British Dragonfire intended to equip Royal Navy ships to intercept drones and small boats
  • Raytheon's HEL TVD designed to intercept missiles, drones, rockets and artillery shells on the battlefield.

The benefits of laser weapons are numerous, in particular due to a very high multiple firing capacity, the weapon not requiring ammunition, as are its disadvantages, linked to very high electrical production, sensitivity to cloudiness, or the effects of certain paints very significantly reducing the thermal effects of the weapon.

The Rail Gun, or electromagnetic cannon, represents an interesting alternative to laser weapons. Although it also requires a significant source of energy, it is insensitive to the weather, or to the paints that may be applied. In addition, the destruction of the target is the consequence of the instant release of a significant kinetic energy, and not a thermal effect requiring a duration of exposure. Finally, the Rail Gun, although it propels projectiles, does not require chemical reactions, therefore reducing the weight, volume and risk linked to the munitions carried.

In any case, laser like Rail Gun, directed energy weapons, once mastered and made reliable, will profoundly modify the nature of military combat, significantly increasing the range and power of the engagement. For both, these are strategic subjects that French industries must not neglect, under penalty of rapid and irremediable downgrading.

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