Transition to a soldier armed with a Laser Weapon Device will be the next Technology Shock in conventional warfare, leading to new tactics and battle strategies. A future battle will likely have three intermeshing components: (1) Epicentre Battle fought on the Terrestrial Surface, likely to operate strategically on the offensive, but tactically on the defence; (2) Space-Based War (where Hypersonic and Space-Based Weapons are likely to provide strategic weapons strikes); and, (3) Peripheral Marauder Battle. The focus of this short overview paper will be the Terrestrial Surface Battlefield, which is anticipated to be a more defensive-style of battle, and will see transition from one dominated by conventional kinetic weapons: small arms (personal firearm weapons), machine guns, and artillery types, to one dominated by missiles, and weapons based on converting input energy into output energy: Lasers. A Laser’s near-straight trajectory, and range limitation determined by its point of diminishment (through Beam Divergence), represent a major shift in battlefield geometry based on straight-lines.
This paper will explore tactical notions such as Laser Screens, Urban saturation of fast-to-plug-in Laser Weapon Devices, a deep-penetration varied effects tactic, and the rising domestic threat posed by Homemade Laser Pistols.
This paper will look at the implications of Laser Weapon Devices (mainly referring to Directed Energy Weapon: High Energy Laser technology), in terms of: (1) Historic shift to Laser Weapon Devices; (2) Technology characteristics of a Laser, in terms of its Range, Trajectory, Effect Limitations and Dwell-Time; and, (3) How Laser technology characteristics frame strategic-tactical concepts on a largely changed battlefield.
- HISTORIC SHIFT TO LASER WEAPON DEVICES
Currently, several proprietary technologies are being developed, are in the test-demonstrator stage, and ultimately one or more will become the basis of a future generation of Close-In and Battlefield Laser Weapon Devices; that will begin a process to replace conventional kinetic weapons. It is now generally considered that:
“we have suddenly arrived in an era where Laser weapons will become widespread across the battlefield” (Rogoway, 2020).
However, at the current stage of use, Lasers represent a, “novel force protection and precision-strike … [option]” (Spencer, 2020).
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