Uk To Install Laser Weapon On Its Type 083 Warship; Can It Thwart Russian Hypersonic Zircon Missile?

Uk To Install Laser Weapon On Its Type 083 Warship; Can It Thwart Russian Hypersonic Zircon Missile - Merchant Navy Info - News

Speaking at the Full Spectrum Air Defense Conference in London. Defense Procurement Minister James Cartledge announced the design of the Royal Navy’s future air superiority system. The Type 83 destroyer, the British Defense Journal reported. He said these new ships would be more than just traditional combat ships. Rather, they will be integrated into a distributed sensor network. They’re distributed sensor networks. They’re really a ‘system of systems,”’ Cartledge explained. He explained that future air superiority systems. Will utilize a variety of cutting-edge technologies. Including advanced radar detection capabilities and directed energy Laser Weapon.

Additionally, the ship is believed to have performed both manned and unmanned operations of these systems. “Our Royal Navy is building the air superiority systems of the future. These are probably new Type 83 class platforms that will one day replace the Type 45. They are not just ships. These are distributed sensor networks. , he noted, is essentially a “system of systems.” It will be incredibly mechanized.

The Purpose Of The Ship

The purpose of the ship is to combine advanced radar detection capabilities. With unmanned systems, as well as advanced Laser Weapon and missiles such as directed energy weapons. The ship will be able to extend fleet protection, support air traffic control over a wider area, and provide better maneuverability thanks to a wider detection range. The cartridge also noted: “As the name suggests, superiority is the name of the game.” Superiority is achieved through faster reaction times and greater lethality at longer ranges. We will maintain our current capabilities and continue to invest in our Sea Viper evolution program. We ensure that today’s world-class warship fleet is equipped with air and missile defense systems to protect maritime task forces from increasingly complex threats, including ballistic missiles. ” Fast-moving missiles, directed energy weapons (DEWs), are becoming increasingly popular as non-kinetic hard-kill and soft-kill defenses against ballistic missile threats.

Laser-based air defense

Laser-based air defense is gaining attention among advanced militaries, including the United States, especially on warships. Although the minister did not say which laser weapons would be installed on this next-generation warship, the U.K. has successfully tested the Dragonfire (LDEW) laser-guided energy weapon system.

DragonFire is a direct targeting weapon that can attack visible targets. The 83-type ships are currently in the early design stages. However, the U.K. Ministry of Defense announced in February 2022 that the Type 83 destroyers were designed to counter the growing threat of hypersonic missiles. The threat of hypersonic missiles is greater today than in 2022. For example, Russia equips its warships and nuclear submarines with state-of-the-art Zircon hypersonic missiles. As seen in Ukraine, Zircon is not invincible but can be difficult to shoot down, especially at sea. 

In addition to Russia, China also deploys an anti-ship hypersonic missile called DF-21, which threatens large ships, including aircraft carriers. A massive defensive arc with new sensors and her DEW was therefore designed by British military planners to ensure that his DEW would destroy her DF-21D “carrier killer,” a hypersonic missile. This means that it is assumed that The British Ministry of Defense has not provided details about how the Type 83 laser cannon fires hypersonic weapons. This may not be the first or only one to conceptualize this. U.S. Navy Adm. Michael Gilday said in August 2022 that directed energy systems are being developed as a potential countermeasure against hypersonic missiles.

Can laser weapons defeat hypersonic threats?

DEW essentially uses highly focused energy such as lasers, microwaves, or particle beams to destroy, damage, or disable targets. It is a weapon that can operate at high speeds and effectively disrupt people, vehicles, facilities, and equipment. The debate over using DEW to destroy hypersonic missiles has been going on for some time. U.S. defense contractor Northop Grumman said it is working with the U.S. Department of Defense to study high-wave microwave systems as part of a multifaceted approach to air defense. A defense contractor says, “High-power microwaves have a significant advantage over hypersonic weapons: they are much faster.” Hypersonic weapons travel at more than five times of the speed of sound, but powerful microwaves travel at the speed of light.

The Department of Defense 

(Department of Defense) estimates that a laser of at least 1 megawatt or 1,000 kilowatts is required to prevent a hypersonic missile from reaching its target. This is more than three times the power output of today’s most advanced tactical laser systems. However, it is highly unlikely that any type of laser will be able to penetrate the tip of the hypersonic missile. After all, these Laser Weaponare designed to withstand the temperatures in excess of 1,700 degrees,  argues Alex Hollings, a former U.S. Marine and editor of the defense website Sandboxx. Hollings further explained that unlike interceptors, which can be fired at targets beyond the horizon, lasers are inherently limited to line-of-sight.

This poses a problem if the target takes a long time to burn through with the Laser Weapon. If a hypersonic missile were to come within range of the laser, it could travel at speeds of up to three kilometers per second, leaving little time for destruction. But despite all the criticism, the U.K. is ready to design futuristic warships with Laser Weapon that will work in parallel with air defense missiles to counter hypersonic threats. Existing laser weapons may be modified, or new weapons may be developed from scratch to address specific threats.

What Is A Type 83 Ship?

In July 2023, the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) unveiled its planned Type 83 destroyer for the first time. These futuristic destroyers have capabilities that are virtually equivalent to the Navy’s sixth-generation aircraft. The Royal Navy’s Type 45 battleships are scheduled to be replaced by  Type 83 battleships when they enter service in the mid-2030s. The Type 83 was first unveiled to the public in March 2021 with the publication of the U.K. Government’s Defense Command document, Defense in the Age of Competition. 

A subsequent report in the U.K. Defense Journal (UKDJ) stated that concept images were also created at a naval conference. British Defense Journal UKDJ compared it to the Chinese destroyer Type 055, which is considered the most advanced and heavily armed destroyer of its type. The warship is said to be equipped with two 30mm or 40mm guns, two Phalanx Close Combat Weapon Systems (CIWS), a 5-inch main gun, and one more unnamed close combat weapon system. The Type 83 destroyers are expected to replace her Type 45 destroyers in service in the late 2030s.

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