US Military Has a Weapon That Can Fire Lasers

US Military Has a Weapon That Can Fire Lasers?

( – The world is a dangerous place. Countries like China and Iran would like nothing more than to see the United States crumble, which is why we need a strong military. And the reason the armed forces keep looking for and developing new weapons can be found in the words of the ancient (ironically) Chinese general Sun Tzu, whose work is still studied in military academies and war colleges. The wisdom of the long-dead warrior includes sayings┬ásuch as:

  • Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.

And reducing the fighting is just what the US Army is trying to accomplish with its new laser weapon.

The Future Is Now

The fact of the matter is the United States Army cannot be everywhere in the world where it might be needed. Therefore, troops and weapons have to be quickly deployable to hotspots as soon as they erupt. A piece of that puzzle can be found in the Stryker armored personnel carrier (APC), which can quickly deploy soldiers and weapons systems into areas where needed. One variation on the model currently being tested has advanced weapons-grade lasers mounted on it.

From 2003-14 the U.S. Army received nearly 4,500 of the Stryker vehicles, which are used by rapid deployment Brigade Combat Teams and are designed to provide protection to the men and women riding in them toward the front lines. And yet they are light enough that a C-5 cargo plane can carry seven of them into the theater of action, and the smaller C-17 has the capability to airlift four.

The Stryker can carry a 30mm cannon, a 50-caliber machine gun, and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher that can fire 40 rounds per minute and can be operated from inside the vehicle so no one has to be exposed to enemy fire. The newest variant of the weapons system includes a 50 kW laser that could prove indispensable in protecting the two operators and nine soldiers on the interior from air attack and reducing “collateral damage” when the battle turns to more urbanized areas.

Lasers move at the speed of light and will allow a Stryker to engage an incoming missile or drone more quickly so the commander can destroy or simply disable the target as the situation demands. The hope is that using this system rather than an interceptor missile could reduce the chances of civilian casualties by shrinking the size of any explosion and timing the takedown to minimize the number of innocent bystanders in the area.

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