New Power System will Enable Maritime Use of Laser Weapons 

An aerial starboard stern view of the US Navy (USN) Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer, USS MUSTIN (DDG 89) as it is underway in the Persian Gulf conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO), with the USN Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier, USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group (CSG), in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

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Laser weapons have become more and more prevalent, but they require a lot of power in an immediate way, faster than a mechanical generator can suddenly produce it. The US Navy has found a new approach that would bridge this gap. 

The US Navy’s next-generation guided-missile destroyer may end up packing a futuristic arsenal consisting of both laser weapons and hypersonic missiles, service officials said.

In order to stay a step ahead of Chinese and Russian missile advances, the U.S. Navy is eyeing a new class of warships that can fight by themselves using lasers and hypersonic missiles. The new whip will provide considerable upgrades from the addition of larger, more dynamic missiles that will hold targets at risk at longer ranges.

Weapons systems of the future such as high-powered electronic warfare systems, laser weapons, and high-powered radars and sensors will put an uneven and sometimes even unpredictable load on a ship’s power system.

That’s why the Navy needs a ship that “can generate enough power to drive more sophisticated radars, electronic warfare systems and directed energy weapons — a ship that will be able to competently operate inside adversary weapon engagement zones,” Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, who leads the Navy staff’s Surface Warfare Division, said.

“A major advantage of a ship with an integrated power system is that the power generated by any of the ship’s engines can be used for either propulsion or electricity, rather than having engines solely dedicated to one or another.

The new DDG-X destroyer is part of the Navy’s long-term goal of increasing its fleet size. Navy officials argue that while their current Arleigh Burke destroyers will remain lethal and relevant for years to come, they lack the room and electrical power to accommodate the weapons of the future. The ship’s combat system “will be the foundation” for the DDG-X, Schlise was cited by