China achieves ‘huge breakthrough’ on laser weapon tech

China achieves ‘huge breakthrough’ on laser weapon tech

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Hong Kong, August 11 (IANS) Chinese military scientists have claimed that they have developed a new cooling system that allows high-energy lasers to operate “infinitely” without any build-up of waste heat.

According to scientists at the National University of Defence Technology, in Changsha, Hunan province, the new cooling system completely eliminates the harmful heat generated by high-energy laser operation, reports South China Morning Post.

The new technology allows weapons to generate laser beams for as long as they want, without interruption or degradation.

“This is a huge breakthrough in improving the performance of high-energy laser systems,” said the team led by laser weapon scientist Yuan Shengfu in a paper published on August 4 in Acta Optica Sinica, a Chinese-language peer-reviewed journal.

“High-quality beams can be produced not only in the first second, but also maintained indefinitely,” they added.

The new cooling system removes heat from inside the laser weapon while minimising turbulence and vibration and improving mirror cleanliness through advanced structures and optimised gas flow, the report mentioned.

According to the researchers, it has the potential to significantly alter the face of battle by increasing range and damage while decreasing logistics and costs.

Moreover, the report said that a few of the most famous US projects over the years have used deuterium fluoride as a laser source for the Navy Advanced Chemical Laser (NACL), for the Middle Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL), for the use of advanced mid-infrared chemical lasers, for the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), for the Space-Based Laser (SBL), and for the Airborne Laser (ABL), for the use of chemical oxygen iodine lasers.

However, all of the projects were cancelled, with the public being told that the reason was the large size and weight of the lasers.

“The true reason for the cancellation of these projects was that their destructive power did not meet expectations,” the scientists said.

The maximum effective range of these weapons was only a few kilometres.