Meet 'Silent Hunter' - China's New 'Armored Vehicle Slicing' Laser Gun

Tyler Durden's picture

While politicians are more than willing to rattle their economic sabres at China, we suspect, after China flaunted a range of high-tech weaponry at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Dubai, we suspect Washington will slow its roll a little with any kinetic warmongery...

Let's start with lasers, says Popular Science's Jeffrey Lin and P.W.Singer...

Poly Technologies showed off The Silent Hunter, one of the world's most powerful laser weapons. It claims an output of at least 50-70 kilowatts, which would make it more powerful than the 33-kilowatt laser weapon systems (LaWS) currently deployed on the USS Ponce. The laser is probably based on a smaller anti-drone laser, the Low Altitude Guard. That's enough to knock out automobiles by burning out their engines from over a mile away, as the 30-kilowatt Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser demonstrated in 2015. The Silent Hunter uses fibre optic lasers (fibre optics doped with rare earth minerals), which provide weight savings over chemical lasers through increasing optical gain by kilometers of coiled fibre optics (as opposed to bulky chemical lasers). The Silent Hunter is likely to be scaled up and equipped with radars to complement its optical/infrared tracking system, making it a capable close range defense system against enemy missiles, artillery, drones and aircraft.

 The Silent Hunter laser is powerful enough to cut through light vehicle armor at up to a kilometer away, making you wonder if China already has more powerful laser weapons only for domestic use.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) recently came out with report that China is "near parity" with western nations in terms of indigenous defense technology. As we can see from IDEX 2017, that is playing out in fields that range from tanks to lasers. And as the Chinese defense industry innovates more, it will likely grab an even bigger share of international arms sales.

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DPLETTENBERG's picture

Everyone is so concerned about Russia. Trump's budget proposal has a 10% or 54 billion dollar increase to defense spending. Russia's TOTAL defense spending is 66 billion. Who are we defending ourselves against?

Memedada's picture

There is no ”we”. The MIC don’t care about ”defense” – they care about a constant climate of tension and war = business opportunities. I was – in the beginning – in doubt on what part of the deep state Trump is aligned (he seemed to be targeting the MIC-part and servicing the FIRE-part). I now know he is a whore to all of them (MIC, FIRE-sector, tech-money, old-money et.al.).  

BlindMonkey's picture

Defending against MIC paycuts obviously.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Tiwin Mar 2, 2017 12:08 PM

"Any other questions?"

Yes.  What will your standard of living be when you look like a piece of burnt toast?

Mike in GA's picture

Reagan's "Star Wars" was a MISSILE DEFENSE, not a laser based weapon.  And missile defense most certainly HAS been deployed - the Patriot missile system is a direct offshoot as well as Israel's Iron Dome.  

I'm no missile expert or technicool geek but I remember the derision the democrats had back then to Reagan's embrace of the mother of all defensive capability, a missile shield that would protect Americans from the threat of incoming ICBMs.  The dems thought it as little then of defending Americans as they do now.

I remember there were no Russkies laughing by 1989.

Cast Iron Skillet's picture

in 1989, they went broke. Now ...

New_Meat's picture

Ronnie playeed high-tech high-stakes poker and won with a little help

Bollixed's picture

One of the Star Wars weapons ideas was a space based nuclear cannon that would fire a pancaked shaped blast wave about 100 meters across and three meters deep. The math said the blast traveling above Mach 15 intercepting a missle traveling at Mach 17 had an intercepting window timeframe of 10 to the minus 24 power. In other words if you divide one second by 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 that's the window of accuracy needed to make the thing work. About the same odds of getting a libtard to understand common sense.

cheech_wizard's picture

This above all...

Standard Disclaimer: U.S. - I raise you "brilliant pebbles"... U.S.S.R. - I fold.

 

sinbad2's picture

You're right about smoke, and water vapour, but holding it on the target depends on the tracking device, that's the complicated part. But the US doesn't have manouverable missiles, so it would be not too difficult. The Russians have developed zig zag missiles to defeat US Navy lasers.

For every weapon, eventually there will be a countermeasure.

 

rtalcott's picture

Yes...atmospheric progpagation is not an easy problem...dust, humidity even temperature variation over the path can make getting the beam on target very difficult.  Anything near ground level...land or sea is difficult. 

twh99's picture

And don't forget that while that laser is pointing at your vehicle, a retaliatory missle has a perfect origination point.

_ArC_'s picture

If it could go through a car engine a mile away that should tell you something. Its not your typical laser that you rave with at an EDM festival! Think again!

myne's picture

Mirror won't help. 

 

Diamond prisms would. Preferably the type that return light exactly to its source regardless of angle (like the ones on the moon). 

Byte Me's picture

aka Phase conjugate mirror.

Stinkytofu's picture

golly, that sounds expensive!

mount diamond shields to all our icbms?

better up the defense budget another 50 billion!

The central planners's picture

I think my ass cheeks are enough reflective to backtrack this shit.

sinbad2's picture

NO you are wrong, a laser would easily cut through a mirror, or any other refective material. Do you think a piece of sheet steel would stop a bullet?

Maxter's picture

It is also well know that a 2 mirror forming a 90 angle will reflect the beam exactly to the source!

See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector

post turtle saver's picture

this is the thread where _everyone_ is a gold plated expert on DEW, KEW and advanced missile technology... in other words, put on your hip waders because the bullshit is gonna get deep quick...

diesheepledie's picture

Has to reflect 10 micron wavelength. Note that what you think of reflective is reflective at 500nm. A normal mirror won't reflect much at 10 microns - where cutting lasers usually operate. You will need exotic materials - Germanium for example. So just have a double beam laser at different wavelengths. One to blast off the protective coating, and then another to go through the armor. Laser countermeasures are not as simple as you think. No material is reflective across the whole EM spectrum.

unnamed enemy's picture

i am not sure you can easily reflect the entire spectrum, its easy to reflect the visible light with a mirror. what about X rays?

 

AGuy's picture

"Simply add reflective material on the exterior."

Mirrors are not 100% reflective. Optical mirrors only work well at optical wavelengths. Lasers can operate at no optical wavelengths (infrared or ultraviolet).

Ideally a missile, plane, or vehicle would want to have a camo paint or radar adsorbing finish to make it more difficult to detect. a reflective finish would make it extremely easy to detect and target. If you can't see it, you can't target it.

Lorca's Novena's picture

How do you mount that frikkin lazer on a shark?

Omega_Man's picture

what is the power source? a huge plant?

Nightjar's picture

yep a chinese smog factory

Erek's picture

They use an extremely long extention cord, available at most hardware stores.

Wahooo's picture

Plenty of 70kW generators available. Hell, you can buy one on Wayfair, along with your new window blinds.

rtalcott's picture

For an output of 70 kW you need probably at least 10X that and probably more due to the efficiency of the lasers.

lakecity55's picture

The weapon has very long, 00 gauge drop cords.

 

FrankDrakman's picture

70kW ~= 100 hp. So you could run it off any dinky Ford Fiesta motor. 

AGuy's picture

High power lasers are typically less than 10% efficient. for a 50KW laser, it would need at least 500KW power source. Basically you would need a marine engine to power the generator.

ElTerco's picture

Wouldn't it be easier to slice/blind hundreds of infantry on the battlefield rather than concentrate on one spot for a second? I wouldn't be surprised if this weapon will be banned by international treaty.

ElTerco's picture

Oh. Wait. Trump prefers bilateral agreements to multilateral agreements. So much for the consensus it took the US almost sixty years to build so that stuff like this *could* be banned.

Erek's picture

Why ban this? Hell, even the A-Bomb isn't banned.

ElTerco's picture

I don't know. A good targeting system combined with Facebook's face recognition software would render infantry ineffective. It would also likely increase casualties to the point where the military would have to spend their budget on managing the crippled rather than on war. 70KW will burn through any eye-protection they can devise.

Erek's picture

The A-Bomb can do a lot more than a mere laser. Melt their eyes? Shit. The Bomb will melt THEM and everything else in the area.

ElTerco's picture

The economics of war is such that you would rather have a dead populace to contend with than a crippled populace. Dead people don't consume resources. Crippled people do, and they also completely destroy morale if it is essentially 90%+ likely as an infantryman that you will be toast. A fixed laser, a rotating mirror targeting system, and good "face" recognition software would require a huge number of countermeasures to defeat, and dramatically slow troop mobility.

Erek's picture

How many millions of people outside the kill zone but inside the outer radiation zone? There are still a whole bunch of Japanese from Hiroshima and Nagasaki being treated, and don't forget the additional effects of birth defects caused by residual radiation. We aren't talking "just a few" infantymen. Residual atomic effects can make large areas "hot" for thousands of years.

For a sneak preview, check out the residual effects of Chernobyl.

ElTerco's picture

Hey look.... we don't want to encourage "The Donald" with this conversation, or the Chinese for that matter. :)

Erek's picture

Either way, there are a lot of nasty ways to kill individuals and large populations. I don't want to encourage anyone who may have a finger on whatever button there may be.

Some people think that creating better, more efficient ways of killing is equal to advancing civilisation.

AGuy's picture

Geneva war regulations prevent develop and use of weapons that disable vision.

Laser Weapons really have limited use. They are high maintaince and have low duty cycles. They can be used to take out a couple of missiles, but that can't repel a full head on engagement.

ClowardPiven2016's picture

Whaaaaaaa.....this weapon is no fair. They need need to stick with conventional weapons that kill in more acceptable, traditional ways.

ElTerco's picture

Hey, blame the Geneva convention as being written by cry-babies. It's the way the world works.

Zero Point's picture

Lazer specs cost like 5 bucks.

Erek's picture

X-Ray specs used to cost a dollar at the back of the comic books, right next to the Charles Atlas get stronger ads.

Zero Point's picture

Fuck it, China should just invade the planet with Sea Monkeys.

Concertedmaniac's picture

Exhibit A - Stolen military technology