German Arms Company Successfully Tests Laser Gun

For those familiar with German weaponry through the years, Rheinmetall is practically a household name. From the MG 42 of WWII fame to the KZO Tactical UAV, they’ve been one of the leading arms manufacturers for armies around the world. And now, they’ve apparently successfully test fired their latest creation — a frickin’ laser gun . . .

From the press release:

Rheinmetall has successfully tested its new 50kW high-energy weapon technology demonstrator. Conducted at the end of November, the test encompassed the entire operational sequence from target detection and tracking to target engagement. Building on a 123-year heritage, the Düsseldorf, Germany-based Group has once again made good its claim to be the global leader in high-energy laser (HEL) technology.

It looks like they’re planning on using this kind of thing in a defensive role, intercepting incoming aircraft and projectiles. Which is a lot easier when your projectile is traveling at relativistic speeds instead of merely a couple thousand feet per second.

Witnessed by leading experts, the demonstration delivered compelling evidence for the 50kW HEL weapon technology demonstrator’s high stability: a massive, 15mm-thick steel girder was cut through at a distance of 1,000 metres. The successful shooting down of several nose-diving target drones at a range of two kilometres formed the second major highlight. Though they were flying at over 50 metres a second, the Skyguard radar had no trouble detecting the incoming unmanned aerial vehicles at a distance of three kilometres. Then the 30kW weapon station used the Skyguard data to carry out rough tracking mechanically. The optical tracking system in the Beam Forming Units (BFU’s) in the individual leaser weapon modules performed fine tracking of the UAVs. After reaching the programmed fire sector the laser weapon modules engaged the UAV’s immediately and destroyed the incoming UAVs within a few seconds.

The third highlight: detection, pursuit and successful engagement of an extremely small ballistic target. A steel ball measuring 82 mm in diameter and travelling at approximately 50 m/sec, the target replicated a mortar round. The Skyguard fire control unit immediately detected the target, followed by mechanical tracking with the 30kW laser weapon station. At this point, the BFU of the laser weapon module took over, optically tracking the target, which was then engaged and destroyed in flight, leaving no doubt as to the tactical viability of using laser weapons in future C-RAM scenarios. Moreover, the test makes clear that the time necessary for engaging mortar rounds at long ranges can be substantially reduced. Today, the required engagement time is already low enough to be in the region needed for C-RAM applications – even when adverse weather conditions make targets difficult to detect.

Yeah, that right there is freaking awesome.

They’ve shown this tech off before, but in the last year they’ve been able to double the power output of the laser system without making the box much larger. The system being shown off is already compact enough to be mounted on ships or flatbed trucks, and would work great in static positions.

I just can’t wait for these puppies to get down to the man-portable size. Just imagine never having to calculate wind, bullet drop or lead for a target ever again. Point, click, dinner. Hell, it might even cook the thing on the hoof . . .

comments

  1. avatar Gs650g says:

    The Germans have created an assault laser. Nice. These will be subjected to a ban too.

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      the gun grabbers already think this is a household item. isn’t any civilian semi auto rifle a death ray gun?

  2. avatar jwm says:

    K. The panty wetters are having a stroke about MSR’s. Think what a man portable death ray would do to their already frail hold on stability.

    1. avatar Loyd says:

      Have we finally found the elusive “better than an assault rifle”?

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    From the wonderful people who brought us the blitzkreig — death rays! Finally, we can have a lightning war with actual lightning. I know I’m just tickled pink.

  4. avatar Johnny says:

    Don’t show this to Senator Feinstein, she might just explode.

    1. avatar curzen says:

      on second thought, do show it to her

      1. avatar Gregolas says:

        “…tis a consummation devoutly to be wished…”

  5. avatar Accur81 says:

    There’s no need for 50 kW lasers. That’s just ridiculous. No same person needs 50 kW. We need to limit these to 10 kW immediately.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Just give me a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range and I’ll be satisfied.

    2. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      I wonder if you can get one of these imported into CA under the single-shot exemption?

  6. avatar jwm says:

    The anti’s are always talking about “compromise”. How about we give up our truck mounted 50 kw lasers for constitutional carry and MSR’s with standard mags?

  7. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    I’m not surprised in the slightest. It WOULD be the Germans who’d successfully test something like this.

  8. avatar إبليس says:

    The end of drone supremacy?

    1. avatar Shame says:

      If the Taliban gets a hold on this…

      I fear the outcome.

      1. avatar S.CROCK says:

        ii would fear it more if the “grabbers” got it.

      2. avatar gringito says:

        Maybe you should fear the Chinese…

  9. avatar In Memphis says:

    I only take my lasers as a Phased Plasma Rifle and it absoloutley must be in a 40 watt range?

    Dont have them yet? I guess Ill just take the Uzi 9mm

    1. avatar gringito says:

      Yeah…since 100 watt light bulbs are already banned in Germany!
      (No joke!)

  10. avatar joe says:

    might be useful for Israel… tie the Germans paid us back…

  11. avatar Gs650g says:

    Just imagine what they haven’t shown the public.

  12. avatar Vigilantis says:

    Add that to the Israeli’s Iron Dome system and it might be the end of artillery as we know it.

  13. avatar jacquejet says:

    Why would anyone need more than 20 watts for a phased plasma rifle.

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      Because at 40 watts you wouldnt need a 12 gauge auto-loader, Uzi 9mm or .45 long slide with laser sighting.

  14. avatar JAS says:

    Lasers are cool, but there will always be the “inconvenient” mirror :). And stealth, no radar signature, no trackie…

    1. avatar CA_Chris says:

      There are a lot of other ways to detect a flying object, it’s just a matter of implementing a network. For example, lasers can be used to detect air displacement caused by airplanes.

  15. avatar sanchanim says:

    ok how many read “a frickin’ laser gun” like you were in Austin Powers???

  16. avatar DaveL says:

    I think the obvious quesion is: “Do they have a shark-mounted version yet?”

    1. avatar QWL says:

      Or at least one for an ill tempered sea bass?

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Is that a real sea bass, or a Chilean sea bass?

        (Yes, I’m channeling Zappa…)

    2. avatar In Memphis says:

      Im still waiting for penguin mounted rocket launchers

  17. “And Kent.. Stop Playing With Yourself!”

  18. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    Relativistic = approximating the speed of light. Pretty sure that’s the opposite of what you meant. See “0.99c” section:

    http://what-if.xkcd.com/20/

    1. avatar 16V says:

      A tricky bit, but I read it to be the interceptor was traveling at speed of light. And interceptor velocity has always been one of the issues.

  19. avatar Leo338 says:

    These are already banned under “that shoulder thingy that goes up”. That was a laser on the alien’s shoulder right?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      That was a plasma gun. I believe they are totally unregulated.

  20. avatar Levi B says:

    Put me on the list for their first man portable model.

  21. avatar Aharon says:

    Coming to your basement printer in beautiful 3D. Laser guns for everyone! Ho ho ho.

  22. avatar 11 says:

    This would be perfect for hunting elk, don’t you think? I mean we can’t limit ourselves in the field. Only Fudds would be against it.

  23. avatar Lolinski says:

    Can I mount one on a trucks( real truck not a pickup) cabin ? Together with carbon nanotube armor you would have efficent vehicle.

  24. avatar TZH says:

    My only problem is that this costs millions of bucks to develop while the enemy just uses the same recruitment/propaganda to bring out their continuous swarm of suicide bombers, mortar squads behind hospitals, and other similar low-cost tactics.

    Still, gimme that lazergun!

  25. avatar bontai Joe says:

    The thing I like about this is that you target bad guy “X” and hit the button. No loud boom, no 30 foot crater, just a small pile of ash where bad guy “X” was standing and his 2 friends left to wonder if it was the hand of God that smoked ol’ X’s butt.

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