VIDEO: Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition Continues (USA)

Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition Continues

The second day of the 2013 Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition, held at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Convention Center April 9, focused on developing fiscally responsible technological solutions.

One such development will see a solid-state laser aboard a ship for the first time in fiscal year 2014.

“Our directed energy initiatives, and specifically the solid-state laser, are among our highest priority science and technology programs,” said Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research. “The solid-state laser program is central to our commitment to quickly deliver advanced capabilities to forward-deployed forces. This capability provides a tremendously affordable answer to the costly problem of defending against asymmetric threats, and that kind of innovative approach is crucial in a fiscally constrained environment.”

The announcement to deploy the laser onboard USS Ponce (AFSB[I] 15) comes as Navy researchers continue to make significant progress on directed energy weapons, allowing the service to deploy a laser weapon on a Navy ship two years ahead of schedule. The at-sea demonstration in FY 14 is part of a wider portfolio of near-term Navy directed energy programs that promise rapid fielding, demonstration and prototyping efforts for shipboard, airborne and ground systems.

“Our conservative data tells us a shot of directed energy costs under $1,” Klunder said. “Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability.”

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Sea Systems Command recently performed demonstrations of high-energy lasers aboard a moving surface combatant ship, as well as against remotely piloted aircraft. Through careful planning of such demonstrations and by leveraging investments made through other Department of Defense (DoD) agencies, researchers have been able to increase the ruggedness, power and beam quality of lasers, more than doubling the range of the weapons.

Demonstration of the high-energy laser aboard a moving surface combatant ship and against remotely piloted aircraft can be seen on the video below:

Other developments displayed at the expo included an unmanned aerial system fueled by hydrogen fuel cells and an electro-magnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS).

“We are part of the new EMALS program,” said Gina Andersen, marketing and communications manager, Kato Engineering. “We do power generation for the naval ships and whether its power generation or electromechanical solutions, we can provide it. It’s a greener option.”

This is the 48th-annual Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition which includes three days of seminars and demonstrations highlighting the latest maritime-related technologies and solutions. The symposium provides an excellent opportunity for Navy policy and operational leadership to interact with industry representatives to discuss and debate common interests and concerns.

Naval Today Staff, April 10, 2013; Image: US Navy