美国海军潜艇会配备激光武器吗?

美国海军潜艇将配备激光武器吗?那就是一个新的海军研究项目的含义。
乍看之下,该项目似乎是一项常规工程:开发连接器,该连接器将允许通过潜艇船体传输数百千瓦的电力。
但是有趣的是,这些电将全部用于做什么。研究建议指出:“美国海军寻求将操作定向能量(DE)武器系统所需的高电力从潜艇内发射到舷外DE系统,潜水平台,特殊行动等的技术。”
换句话说,海军潜艇将成为巨型炮台,为耗电的激光器,水下平台或特种部队使用的设备提供汁液。但是首先,海军必须开发一种嵌入潜艇船体的电连接器。提案指出:“目前,海军需要拖曳发电机以支持类似的系统。”
但是提案中提到了“舷外”定向能源武器这一事实很有趣。“通过’舷外’,该提议可能意味着该系统在外部连接至潜艇,但仅通过外部船体穿透器连接至潜艇内部,”前海军潜艇军官布莱恩·克拉克(Bryan Clark)说,他现在是该系统的分析师。战略与预算评估中心智囊团。“这些穿透器是电连接器,可在潜艇的内部和外部之间提供电路,但内置在船体中,因此电缆不需要穿过船体。”
这将允许将外部激光器安装在潜艇上。“可以在耐压船体外部的潜艇上安装激光器,”克拉克说。“例如,它可能在航行中,通常在潜艇被淹没时就会泛滥。安装在帆上可以使激光在水面上方使用,使光学传感器眼花or乱或损坏有人驾驶或无人驾驶飞机。”
其他可能性包括安装在桅杆上的激光器。“激光可能在桅杆上,也可能在风帆中,潜水艇必须至少部分浮出水面,” Clark解释说。“与枪支或导弹相反,可以配置激光器,使激光发生器沿桅杆的内部垂直对齐,并且可以通过镜子将激光发送到光束导向器。”
的确,位于加利福尼亚的技术公司Optical Physics Company设计了一个光束导向器,用于将光束导向目标,用于安装在桅杆上的海底激光器。该公司网站上的描述说:“ OPC设计了这样一种光束导向器,具有正确的外形尺寸,可以插入海底桅杆中。” “该光束导向器可以跟踪目标,并将直径约12英寸的光束对准目标。光束导向器可以可选地包含自适应光学组件,以调节HEL(高能激光)光束的波阵面并补偿大气失真,从而降低海上环境中光束的有效性。”
如果海军能够开发电潜艇连接器,发电以及潜艇安装的激光武器所需的其他系统,那么潜力将是巨大的。一艘潜艇从深处冒出来发射雷击,这可能是毁灭性的。
“在水面上,一盏100-300千瓦的激光将足以摧毁小型无人机,损坏大型飞机,损坏光学传感器或击落慢速反舰导弹,”克拉克说。“在水下,可以使用激光进行通信,但这只能在特定的频率范围内工作,并且所需的功率要低得多。”

U.S. Navy submarines will be armed with laser weapons?
That’s the implication of a new Navy research project.
At first glance, the project seems fairly routine engineering: developing connectors that will allow transmission of hundreds of kilowatts of electricity through a submarine’s hull.
But what’s interesting is what all that electricity will be used for. “The Navy seeks technologies for transmitting high electrical power required for operating Directed Energy (DE) weapon systems from inboard the submarine to an outboard DE system, submersible platform, special operation, etc.,” states the research proposal.
In other words, Navy subs will become giant batteries, supplying juice to power-hungry lasers, or underwater platforms, or equipment used by special operations forces. But first, the Navy must develop an electrical connector embedded in the sub’s hull. “Currently, the Navy needs to tow the generator to support a similar system,” the proposal notes.
Yet the fact that the proposal mentions an “outboard” directed energy weapon is interesting. “By ‘outboard,’ the proposal could mean a system attached externally to the submarine, but that is only connected to the inside of the submarine via external hull penetrators,” says Bryan Clark, a former Navy submarine officer who is now an analyst for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank. “These penetrators are electrical connectors that provide an electrical circuit between the inside and outside of the submarine, but that are built into the hull so cables do not need to pass through the hull.”
This would allow an external laser to be mounted on the submarine. “A laser could be mounted to the submarine outside the pressure hull,” Clark says. “For example, it could be in the sail, which is normally flooded when the submarine is submerged. Mounting in the sail could allow the laser to be used above the water to dazzle optical sensors or damage manned or unmanned aircraft.”
Other possibilities include a mast-mounted laser. “Either the laser could be in a mast or it could be in the sail and the sub would have to surface at least partially,” Clark explains. “As opposed to a gun or missile, a laser can be configured such that the laser generator is vertically aligned along the inside of the mast, and the laser light could be sent to the beam director via mirrors.”
Indeed, Optical Physics Company, a California-based technology firm, has designed a beam director—which steers the beam toward the target—for a mast-mounted submarine laser. “OPC has designed such a beam director with the right form factor for insertion into a submarine mast,” says the description on the company’s Web site. “This beam director can track the target and aim an approximately 12-inch diameter beam onto the target. The beam director can optionally contain adaptive optics components to condition the wavefront of the HEL [high energy laser] beam and compensate for the atmospheric distortions that reduce beam effectiveness in a maritime environment.”
If the Navy can develop electrical hull connectors, power generation and other systems needed for a submarine-mounted laser weapon, the potential could be enormous. A stealthy submarine emerging from the depths to fire a surprise laser shot could be devastating.
“Above the water, a 100-300 kilowatt laser would be powerful enough to destroy small UAVs, damage larger aircraft, damage optical sensors, or defeat slow anti-ship missiles,” Clark says. “Underwater, a laser could be used for communications, but that would only work at specific frequency ranges and would require much lower power levels.”

 

2020-11-2智邦网

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