Chinese military experts create lasers that fire indefinitely
Chinese military scientists announced they created a cutting-edge cooling system for high-powered lasers. Specifically, it maintains power to a concentrated beam system “indefinitely” without overheating. Futurism reported by former British military official Steve Weaver: “It would put China ahead of the United States in more ways than one.”
Militaries always strive for the latest technologies to keep territories safe. Hence, seeing the Chinese military develop weapons using experimental lasers is no surprise. Believe it or not, many armed forces apply battlefield technologies never before seen. People should know how these innovations could protect or harm them.
This article will elaborate on the latest Chinese laser technology. Later, I will cover other military projects like AI-powered fighter jets and automated mission planners.
How does the Chinese laser work?
If they have overcome the heating and distortion issues as claimed, in a (relatively) small enough unit for deployment, this is a big breakthrough considering the US… pic.twitter.com/bjAPebsAWw
— Steve Weaver 🇬🇧🇨🇳🏉 (@SteveWeaverTEFL) August 11, 2023
The South China Morning Post first broke the story regarding China’s latest laser technology. Indian news outlet WION says Yuan Shengfu and National University of Defense Technology scientists worked on it.
On August 4, 2023, they published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal Acta Optica Sinica. It says the cooling system removes heat from inside the laser weapon.
It “limited vibration and turbulence and enhanced mirror cleaning through improved structures and optimal gas flow.” Futurism says it blows gas that blows through the weapon to remove excess heat.
Another laser research paper from Yuan Shengfu describes this process as “film cooling.” It reduces a laser weapon’s nozzle’s temperature by coating it with helium. As a result, weapons can fire laser beams indefinitely while maintaining performance.
Shengfu and his colleagues described past laser tech, saying, “Since the invention of the first ruby laser in 1960, people have been enthusiastic about transitioning from kinetic energy to laser energy for the rapid projection of energy at the speed of light, dreaming of laser beams to become ‘death rays’ that can instantly kill targets.”
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“Unfortunately, 60 years have passed, and while various types of lasers have been developed, the application of high-energy laser systems has not been successful,” they added. Conversely, the Chinese laser marks “a huge breakthrough in improving the performance of high-energy laser systems.”
Shengfu and his team believe it could significantly change war by extending engagement times, enhancing damage and range, and reducing costs and logistics.
Former British military official Steve Weaver says this breakthrough could give China a significant edge against the US. “If [Chinese scientists] have overcome the heating and distortion issues as claimed, in a (relatively) small enough unit for deployment. This is a big breakthrough considering the US failures in this area.”
What are the other latest military breakthroughs?
The Chinese laser is impressive, considering how other militaries use lasers. Most armed forces use lasers for holographic gun sights, air strike targeting systems, and intercepting incoming missiles.
Still, that doesn’t mean other countries have been slacking in tech developments. The United States is testing a jet with an artificial intelligence system.
The Department of Defense and global security firm Lockheed Martin are training the VISTA X-62A or Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft. Its AI systems enable it to mimic existing vehicles.
For example, it could perform like the MQ-20 fighter drone or the F-16 fixed-wing fighter jet. The VISTA enables the DoD to test military AI systems without risking active aircraft.
Contrary to popular belief, the US will not replace its Air Force with autonomous systems yet. However, Lockheed Martin said it will “keep people in control while enabling them to be safer, more effective, and better able to focus on higher-level tasks by empowering them to make more informed decisions quickly.”
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The Israeli military also uses an artificial intelligence system called Fire Factory. It “calculates appropriate munition loads, prioritizes targets, assigns them to aircraft and drones, and proposes a schedule.”
Fire Factory selects locations to bomb, assigns them to aircraft, and schedules their operations. Consequently, the Israeli armed forces have become more efficient.
Colonel Uri, head of the Israeli Defense Forces digital transformation unit, said, “What used to take hours now takes minutes, with a few more minutes for human review.” He added, “With the same amount of people, we do much more. The future of defense systems and of military will rely heavily on artificial intelligence.”
Chinese military scientists developed laser systems that can shoot beams indefinitely. It coats energy weapons in a gas to prevent it from overheating.
However, we should always take scientific breakthroughs with a grain of salt. We must demand further proof before we believe such claims. For example, scientists became excited when South Korean experts claimed they’d made a room-temperature superconductor.
Experts worldwide tried replicating their findings and concluded that LK-99 is not a superconductor. Check other digital trends at Inquirer Tech.