At the end of last week, Turkish media spread the news about the new wonder weapon. Allegedly, Turkish developers managed to get ahead of all competitors and create the world’s first drone with laser weapons, Eren. The range of the “laser sword” mounted on the copter is up to 500 meters. However, a number of military experts were skeptical about this news.
According to Turkish media reports, the laser drone is being tested, and upon completion it will be adopted by the army. Turkish drones have become widely known after their successful use in Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh. The “Bayraktar” striking apparatus especially distinguished themselves. Many countries became interested in them, including Ukraine, which managed to acquire several complexes and even use them in the conflict zone in Donbass.
Are the technical capabilities of the Turkish military industry so great that it can already handle laser technology? A well-known military expert, editor of the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, Aleksey Leonkov, believes that there are questions about the new development of the Turkish military-industrial complex. In his Telegram channel, he called it “a copter with a suspended suitcase in which a laser is installed.” The expert explained the reasons for his skepticism.
“Our” Peresvet “(combat laser, adopted by the Russian army. -” MK “), which strikes optical-electronic seeker (seeker) missiles, high-precision weapons and also operates on the optics of reconnaissance drones – the size of a semi-trailer”, – noted Leonkov.
At the same time, according to him, it took us almost 50 years to create laser weapons, which were adopted. Dozens of design bureaus and research institutes, optics and electronics engineers worked. And suddenly “the Turks beat us”?
“In terms of information, yes, since they show it on the federal (TV) channel. In reality, I doubt it, ”Leonkov said.
He recalled that laser projects were carried out by countries in which science and technology had reached a much higher level compared to Turkey.
As an example, he cited the Mobile High Energy Tactical Laser (MTHEL), which was jointly developed by the United States and Israel. They invested $ 300 million in this project. MTHEL was conceived as an air defense system capable of shooting down Qassam missiles – improvised Palestinian rockets.
It was reported, the expert writes, that in 2000 and 2001, MTHEL shot down 28 missile shells from multiple launch rocket systems (analogous to “Grad”) and 5 artillery shells.
The MTHEL prototype, the expert notes, was made on the basis of a chemical laser with a power of up to 2 MW. It came with six modules, each the size of a shipping container. These modules contained – the laser itself, a radar and a telescope (for tracking targets), tanks with fuel and reagents for “refueling” the laser, as well as a rotating mirror to reflect the laser beam in the direction of a moving target.
“Despite the successes, the project was closed,” the expert noted.
Then there was the Iron Beam HELWS (High-Energy Laser Weapon System) project, which was more compact. All equipment fit into one container, which was placed on a three-axle truck. In 2015, the media stopped mentioning this project. And during the last conflict in the Gaza Strip, the appearance of “something laser” did not happen. The Qassams continued to shoot down missiles from the Iron Dome anti-aircraft system.
Thus, according to the expert, there is a direct relationship between the laser power and its mass-dimensional characteristics. There is even a simplified criterion: the weight factor, the ratio of the equipment mass to the laser power (kg / kW). For chemical lasers such as MTHEL, it is 400 kg / 1 kW.
“Thus, the Israeli-American laser with the equipment was supposed to weigh 800 tons, but in reality it was most likely not as powerful as it was announced. Most likely, the range of its power lay in the range from 100 to 300 kW, “Leonkov suggested.
Now, according to him, the weight factor has become less. For example, an American fiber-optic laser, according to specialists from Lockheed Martin, is only 5 kg / 1 kW. The minimum laser power being worked on in the USA is 30 kW, that is, its equipment will weigh 150 kg.
“But there is a small nuance,” Leonkov notes, “in order for 30kW to reach the target, when leaving the laser, this power must be 2-3 times more, that is, a setup with a 30kW laser will weigh 300-450 kg.” …
It turns out that Turkish scientists and engineers managed to bypass the Americans and Israelis and invent a laser that can be placed on a copter weighing several kilograms. According to Leonkov, this is ridiculous.
According to him, nothing is known about the Turkish “laser case”: neither the type of laser, nor the wavelength, nor its power.
“Only words about hitting some targets at a distance of 100, 300 and 500 meters,” Leonkov said. – The parishioners of the “Saint Bayraktar” church now have a new saint – Eren, who with the holy robot-killer Kargu will take place to the left of “Bayraktar”.
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