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Russia develops directed-energy weapons

September 16, 2015, 19:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Laser, acoustic, holographic and kinetic systems are among them, these are lasers designed not to destroy objects but to ‘blind’ them because the latter requires far less energy

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© ITAR-TASS/Yevgeny Kurskov

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Work in under way in Russia on directed-energy weapons, a source in Russia’s defense industry told TASS on Wednesday.

Asked by TASS to comment on a message from the DSEi 2015 international show in London to the effect that the Royal Navy intends to adopt lasers for service by 2020, the Russian defense industry source said: "Russian engineers developing weapons reliant on new physical principles are aware of the foreign efforts in the directed-energy weapons field".

Of the basic types of the above weapons, he singled out laser, acoustic, holographic and kinetic systems. "First off, these are lasers designed not to destroy objects but to ‘blind’ them because the latter requires far less energy," he added.

In his words, blinding and immobilizing surface or submerged targets makes their destruction easier. However, the power plants of ships will have to be changed and their power will have to be redistributed in favor of the future weapons for directed-energy weapons to be installed on future ships.

"Another type of advanced weapons involves kinetic weapons — electromagnetic guns that dissolve a target by means of high kinetic energy, rather than punch through it," the expert clarified.

According to the source, acoustic weapons will be effective against surveillance systems. There are also holographic weapons, the source said without going into detail on their purpose.

Royal Navy Adm. George Zambellas said at DSEi 2015 in London: "Energy weapons don’t require conventional ammunition. With a cost-per-shot potentially measured in pence rather than pounds, they offer a route to address the spiralling costs of missile development and production, as well as reducing supply chain demands."

"The Royal Navy plans to demonstrate a directed energy weapon at sea by the end of the decade," Adm. Zambellas said.

The admiral added that the British Armed Services hoped for getting weapons not just to blind the enemy or render its electronics inefficient but able to destroy fast targets, too.

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