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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Lurk Skywatcher's picture

Like gunpowder and the crossbow?

Concertedmaniac's picture

You say that as if the cultural revolution never happened.

Lurk Skywatcher's picture

And you say that as if the cultural revolution is still happening.

sinbad2's picture

If you want to look at some stolen military technology, look up the Horten Ho 229, the B2 bomber is an almost exact copy.

floosy's picture

Unless all this stuff is just for decoration, sooner or later someone is going to want to play with all their new toys they are spending billions on.

I Feel a little Qeasy's picture

Not necessarily, all that needs to happen is for the US to FUCK OFF and leave the rest of us in peace. Now fuck off.

risk.averse's picture

Article inadvertedly made me laugh when it placed 3 words that don't belong in the same sentence: Chinese industry innovates. "Pirate" -- oh yes, to infinity and beyond!! "Make it cheaper" -- yes. "Make it faster" -- also yes. "Improves" -- perhaps. But "innovates" -- rarely.

If Trump wants to MAGA then he should start by heavily restricting academics from publishing and thus giving away so much of the cutting edge technical innovations that -- in many cases -- we taxpayers have worked hard to fund. At least until China gets truly serious about protecting IP.

Probably too has bolted. China progressed 100 years+ in the last 30 thanks to the rivers of knowledge given away by the West. Worth trillions.

Fireman's picture

Keep telling yourself that and everything will be all right!


P S USSA did not invent the wheel after all. Guess who did!

are we there yet's picture

Fred Flintstone invented the wheel.

mccvilb's picture

Holy bat guano. How'd de do dat in such a short time? Linux too. Sorry, Bill. Open sourced, Chinese version. I'll check it out on Github and get back to you right after I learn Cantonese and Mandarin. We are so fucked.

cheech_wizard's picture

The Chinese version of the DEC Alpha...

Standard Disclaimer: The truth of the matter is this... For the last 30 years, the only innovations in the electronics industry have been to reduce the clock period from this   |<--------------->|  to this |<--->| ...


quadraspleen's picture

Yeah, lots of it "stolen" from Hilary's server.

Brian "IT Guy" Pagliano: "oh, we've been hacked - again"

Check out the Awan brothers. I fancy they may have carbon paper ink all over their hands too...things hotting up in the swamp...

lakecity55's picture

Has anyone seen Brian lately?


AGuy's picture

The issue is that Laser weapon tech orginated from industrial lasers used to cut metal. China exports a lot of industrial laser equipment. It does take much effort to convert an industrial laser to a weapon.

China advantage is its huge industrial complex that has built. The information isn't as critical as having the manufacturing capacity. China is now the worlds leading manufacturer, and thus can build just about anything.

DeeZ_nutZ's picture

they stole this technology from canada.  

Yippie21's picture

We're gonna drop moon rocks on China.....  from the moon!

Cast Iron Skillet's picture

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress ...

are we there yet's picture

Ugly mistress gives a harsh moon.

Common_Law's picture

The really scary thing is that doped fiber optic lasers sound really cheap. Very simple manufacturing process compared to any of our weapons.

This is really interesting and crazy stuff.

css1971's picture

Lasers are relatively easy to counter, though it would need a new generation of armour. Smoke generators, ablative materials which form a mist or dust cloud would probably be the most likely. The most difficult to armour are aircraft, missiles where you have weight and bulk limitations.

Leszek's picture

Reflective materials on vehicles as protection against lasers?

Dumb idea, imo. Vehicles are made to hide them, not to make them visible like Christmas tree.

are we there yet's picture

Kitty cats love lasers.

RattieNomNom's picture

with explozing batteries? that's NICE!

lakecity55's picture

(at the arms show)

"Professor, that new Chinese laser looks similar to our secret project, the X-23!"
"Yes, Smithers, I think there is a spy."

NewHugh's picture

We need to employ some "Indigenous defense" on the streets of Chicago...

MiniCooper's picture

Is it possible that this is in fact a metal box painted brown with the words 'Silent Hunter' stencilled on the side?

Its written in English and put on show at an arms fair for one reason only.

sinbad2's picture

"Its written in English and put on show at an arms fair for one reason only."

2 reasons, one is to sell them and make lots of money, the US sells $10 billion a year, and China only sells $2 billion a year, so they see an opportunity to get some more of the market.

The other reason is to warn the US, that if it attacks China, regardless of who wins, China will make the US pay dearly for its aggression.

Flankspeed60's picture

YES, we will scorch the earth underneath the feet of the reactionary Yankee dogs. American capitalist pigs will die a thousand deaths at the hands of our glorious leaders. We just need to steal two or three more industrial secrets and get new ropes for our generator starters. Death to America!

sinbad2's picture

The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a UK/US think tank. If they say China is almost at parity in weapons, they mean they are more advanced.

But forget the finer points of technological advantages, Germany was technologically more advanced than the US in 1930, but even though American planes were inferior to German planes, the US still won the air war.

The reason the US won, was its manufacturing power.

So who is the biggest manufacturer, China or the US.

Answer that question, and you know who is going to win WWIII.

css1971's picture

"The reason the US won, was its manufacturing power."

Was 20 million USSR (not just Russian) casualties.

sinbad2's picture

Yes I know that Russia won WWII, but you will never get an American to believe that.

pc_babe's picture

Rounding error ... Stalin killed more during his pogroms

Toshie's picture

Just a historical note here;-
US could not beat the Chinese in the Korean War, though US was much more advanced technologically.

Let's ponder the then and now.

Flankspeed60's picture

You are forgetting some major factors. We fought that war completely hamstrung. MacArthur was prevented by Truman from crossing the 38th parallel and taking the war dirfectly to the Chicoms. I believe Mac's MIC would have prevailed. And second, we could have ended that war in milliseconds using superior technology, aka, nuclear weapons. Obviously, we chose not to. Our capability to win is not really debatable. WHETHER we should have been there at all IS open to question.

sinbad2's picture

That isn't true, China did not enter the war until Macarthur crossed the Chinese border, although the US denies entering China, just like it denies using WMD's. Anyway when the Chinese entered the war, they pushed US troops back to South Korea, and almost into the sea. Had it not been for Turkish British and Australian forces reinforcing American troops, the US would have been defeated.

SunRise's picture

Makes sense - that and the pre-staged empty cities near the factories.

Common_Law's picture

Partly true. But everyone always forgets the allies (UK) broke the enigma code 2yrs before the end and before the war "turned" in our favour. 

darteaus's picture

What's the effective range for cop cars and politician's limos?

Mungo9000's picture

Your laser weapon is no match for my tank made of mirrors.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

And we're going to see a demonstraton of it cutting a tank in half at 1 kilometer exactly when??

stinkypinky's picture

Once they figure out how to keep those cheap flip latches we see there in the picture from coming unhooked every time the thing goes for a drive, sending the UltraHighTechSuperPoweredLazer careening off the side, down into the pig slop that covers half of China.

FrankDrakman's picture

I worked for a telecom company in the late 70's. We went to a tradeshow, but our signature new Private Branch Exchange (PBX) wasn't working properly. We quickly bought a competitor's system, put it behind some large curtains, ran a few cables, and "presto!", our miracle new system was 'working'. 

We did get it working shortly after, and it became the best selling product in the field. But I have never trusted anything I've seen at a trade show since. 

stinkypinky's picture

I'll wait to see the reviews of this thing on before I pass judgment on it.

TheWrench's picture

It's on there now. Apparently you have to disassemble the whole thing, file off all the machining burrs and reassemble with new fasteners to keep if from rattling apart during use.

Nesbiteme's picture


We bought one of the newest Poly Technologies “Silent Hunter”, you know for jobs around the house like cutting the entire house in half and blowing up our next door neighbor's car when he goes out of town and neglects to deactivate his car alarm. Well what a waste of money, $50,000,000 and all the fucking thing can do is make really bad toast. Never worked right from day one. BTW Poly Technologies doesn't have any North American service facilities. So every time you need service you have to pack it up and send it via DHL to Amsterdam and then Poly Tech picks it up. Takes a month on average to do the simplest repair (don't do the work yourself or you'll void the useless warranty). Here is a list of problems: power cord too short and cheap, laser actuator are delivered broken, outer lens delivered with oily film on it, unit can only be run for about 10 minutes before it overheats, instructions are unintelligible and Poly Tech's call center staff know nothing about any of their products.  

Swamp Yankee's picture

Assuming it even works...


Nice toy but for a fraction of the price you can send a 20mm slug down range @ 3000 FPS that will make cole-slaw out of all but the most heavily armored targets.


The Oerlikon is still one of the best gen-purpose mounts imho out there and its proven, stone-axe tech.