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China’s latest laser tech claim creates waves across the world. Here’s why?


China’s military claims to have achieved a major breakthrough in energy weapons technology, potentially reshaping modern warfare dynamics. Scientists at the National University of Defence Technology in Changsha have unveiled a cooling system that could enable high-energy lasers to operate indefinitely without overheating. This development could mark a significant departure from the limitations imposed by traditional energy weapons.

The innovation centres around a cooling system designed to eliminate the detrimental heat generated during the operation of high-energy lasers. “This is a monumental leap forward in enhancing the capabilities of high-energy laser systems,” said Yuan Shengfu, a prominent laser weapon scientist. Yuan’s remarks were published in a paper on August 4th in Acta Optica Sinica.

Cooling has posed a technical obstacle in the pursuit of effective laser weaponry. This issue has stymied advancements in the field, as excessive heat has historically limited the duration of laser firing and the effectiveness of these weapons.

Parallel to China’s efforts, the United States has also sought to develop advanced laser systems, including the Navy Advanced Chemical Laser (NACL), the Middle Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL), the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), and the Space-Based Laser (SBL). Although some of these systems exhibited promising capabilities, challenges related to size and weight led to their cancellation after successful field tests.

China’s breakthrough addresses the constraints of heating and distortion, potentially representing a significant leap forward if these claims hold true. This achievement is particularly noteworthy when considering the challenges the U.S. military faced in the same domain. 

The global defence community is closely monitoring these developments. If China’s claims hold true, the successful implementation of the cooling system could reshape the landscape of energy weaponry, enabling extended laser firing capabilities and potentially changing the course of modern war.

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