New laser weapon could con­tain air re­con­nais­sance, be de­ployed in Ti­bet: ex­pert

Global Times US Edition - - PLAWATCH - By Cao Siqi

A new laser weapon sys­tem de­buted at Air­show China 2018 could ef­fec­tively con­tain tac­ti­cal re­con­nais­sance and pre­vent ter­ror at­tacks and can be eas­ily de­ployed on level ground like the plateaus of South­west China’s Ti­bet Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion and is­lands of the South China Sea, mil­i­tary an­a­lysts said.

The ve­hi­cle-based laser weapon, called LW-30 laser de­fense weapon sys­tem, was un­veiled by the China Aero­space Sci­ence and In­dus­try Cor­po­ra­tion (CASIC), one of China’s largest mis­sile man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment CASIC sent to the Global Times on Sun­day, the LW30 laser de­fense weapon sys­tem could use a di­rec­tional-emis­sion high-en­ergy laser to quickly in­ter­cept many kinds of aerial tar­gets, such as pho­to­elec­tric guid­ance equip­ment, drones, guided bombs, and mor­tars.

It fea­tures sustainabl­e-com­bat, high­en­ergy fo­cused launch, ef­fi­cient ther­mal man­age­ment and is also ca­pa­ble of lon­grange de­tec­tion and imag­ing, said the state­ment.

The sys­tem con­sists of a radar com­mand com­mu­ni­ca­tion ve­hi­cle, a laser ve­hi­cle and a sup­port ve­hi­cle. The sys­tem can be flex­i­bly de­ployed in key ar­eas based on spe­cific sce­nar­ios and de­mands.

It can com­plete in­de­pen­dent op­er­a­tions or mul­ti­ple net­work strikes, and can be in­te­grated into tra­di­tional air de­fense weapon sys­tems, said the state­ment.

Specif­i­cally, it can co­op­er­ate with tra­di­tional weapons such as the close-in weapon sys­tem and air-de­fense missiles, the state­ment said.

Song Zhong­ping, a mil­i­tary ex­pert and TV com­men­ta­tor, told the Global Times on Sun­day that the sys­tem aims to de­tect and strike low, slow and small (LSS) tar­gets, which refers to those that fly be­low one kilo­me­ter, at speeds around 200 kilo­me­ters per hour and have a radar cross-sec­tion smaller than one square me­ters.

“It can de­tect drones and con­tain en­e­mies’ tac­ti­cal re­con­nais­sance and strike aerial ter­ror at­tacks,” Song said.

Ac­cord­ing to Song, ter­ror­ists usu­ally use LSS tar­gets to carry ex­plo­sives and ra­dioac­tive sub­stances.

The sys­tem could be de­ployed on the Qing­hai-Ti­bet Plateau and South China Sea is­lands, he noted.

An­a­lysts said the re­search progress and tech­ni­cal sta­tus of the sys­tem are very ma­ture, and it may soon en­ter into mil­i­tary ser­vice.

To­gether with the laser weapon sys­tem, China South In­dus­tries Group Cor­po­ra­tion also un­veiled an­other laser weapon dur­ing the air show called the “light-ve­hi­cle laser dem­i­ning and det­o­na­tion sys­tem.” The sys­tem can de­stroy ex­plo­sive de­vices such as mines through high-power laser ir­ra­di­a­tion at a long dis­tance, avoid­ing ca­su­al­ties caused by man­ual bomb dis­posal, me­dia re­ported.

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