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Russian-U.S. Combat Laser Weapons Race On Rise

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Russian-U.S. Combat Laser Weapons Race On Rise

Image by the National Interest. Click to see full-size image

On November 6th, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian Armed Forces would receive hypersonic and laser weapons. Putin emphasized that Russia will build up its defense potential, but is also ready for the disarmament process.

“We intend to build up our defense potential and put in combat readiness hypersonic, laser, and other modern weapons that other countries do not yet have,” he said.

Speaking about building up defense potential, Putin stressed that the country’s armed forces will receive the latest weapons, as this is necessary to guarantee security. At the same time, according to the president, Moscow is not going to threaten anyone.

At the same time, US state-funded Voice of America reported on how questionable these claims of laser and hypersonic weapons were.

“Hardly a day goes by now without some announcement from the Kremlin of a test firing of this or that new missile, a military exercise here or there or the launching of a new warship or development of a fresh weapon system.”

Western military analysts, cited by the outlet claimed that there was “a lot of smoke and mirrors” when it comes to the military buildup, especially when it comes to the Russian Navy.

National Interest’s Robert Farley said the following:

“The Russian Navy inherited a massive, modern fleet of surface ships and submarines. Most of these disappeared in short order, as Russia was incapable of maintaining such a flotilla. The remaining major units of the Russian Navy are very old, and in questionable states of repair.”

He furthermore said that this was what specifically the Russian military survived on:

“The Russian national security state thrives on the announcement of big projects, but not so much on their fulfillment.”

There is quite a bit of MSM skepticism regarding the projects, despite some of them, such as the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle even successfully passing its state trials and being ready to deploy, and the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles which were already delivered to the Russian Armed Forces.

At the same time, on November 5th reports surfaced of the US successfully testing its own weaponized laser.

The Stryker-fired laser, in development for several years, is part of the US Army’s Initial Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) program designed to bring air-and-missile defense back to armored vehicles on the move in combat.

The program will deliver 50 kilowatt (kW)-class lasers on a platoon of four Stryker vehicles in Fiscal Year 2022, an Army report stated.

“The time is now to get directed energy weapons to the battlefield,” Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, said in an Army report. “The Army recognizes the need for directed energy lasers as part of the Army’s modernization plan. This is no longer a research effort or a demonstration effort. It is a strategic combat capability, and we are on the right path to get it in Soldiers’ hands.

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, are subcontractors in an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement between the Army and Kord Technologies.

“It is all about the ability to put photons on target. It is a system that can be deployed rapidly from a stowed position. It can engage an enemy at the speed of light. It has to be able to shoot from a moving platform and engage a moving target through an air column that can be full of rain, dust or turbulence — and hold that energy on target long enough to get the desired effect,” Mark Skinner, Vice President of Directed Energy, Northrop Grumman said.

And despite the MSM reports that the Russian laser weapons and such are simply a fairytale, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is reportedly looking at ways to protect aircraft from laser weapons.

DARPA is looking for anti-laser defensive technology ideas that can detect an attack, geo-locate the attacker and disrupt the laser weapon’s kill chain within milliseconds of an attack starting. The agency said its ideal defensive system would do all three functions.

DARPA notes that laser weapons are being improved using technology from civilian industries.

“In recent years, high-power fiber and semiconductor laser technology has improved rapidly, with power density increasing by an order of magnitude or more. Much of this increase has been driven by demand for industrial cutting machines and high-bandwidth, long-range telecommunications,” the agency said. “These same laser materials and devices can also be used by directed-energy weapons for both destructive and deteriorating effects, such as temporary blinding or degrading electro-optical/infrared sensors.”

DARPA said it is strongly interested in a “pre-fire” system, a defensive measure which finds and stops a laser weapon before the attack.

“Approaches that disrupt the [high-energy laser] kill chain, as well as approaches that harden platforms and munitions to allow a kinetic attack on [high-energy laser] systems are of interest,” it said.

The reports in recent days are essentially a typical example of propaganda, with the US reportedly successfully testing its laser and the necessity to play down the alleged success of the Russian side.


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Jacob Wohl's Nose

Lasers dont have shit on Yakov’s Nose. That ? ? can cause a global hurricane just by sneezing

Toronto Tonto

You have a weird fixation on this guys beek .

Toronto Tonto

The USA showed video of working L.A.W.S. system years ago where is russias video ??? no cartoons please , they are the first to claim they have all these futuristic weapons lets see them . LOL.


US may be ahead in lasers but behind in hypersonics – Russia has already deployed Khinzal how many has US deployed.

Ricky Miller

Nada. None. They are too busy crossing the $23 trillion debt mark spending money invading and trying to occupy small second world states in multiple places at once. Spending money on hypersonic missiles was too much about actually providing a workable defense for North America and for the Pentagon that is a way secondary line of business.

Ricky Miller

If it was working we would have seen it on the battlefield, deployed. It’s not working because of two major issues designers have yet to solve. Power and waste heat. In a fixed position, hooked to a local grid there’s plenty of power. But, how to bring that power along and keep it mobile. Because in the long run, if advanced lasers of enough power to damage heavy airframes must remain emplaced that means they dramatically alter the battlefield in favor of defense. The U.S. is going to be disadvantaged by that. But I doubt any of it happens soon. Waste heat disables the weaponry after a few shots and you’ll need more than a few shots to be militarily significant. Hence, call me a doubter that lasers seriously threaten missiles or aircraft anytime soon.


It works as good as the electric elevaters on the Gerald Ford carrier. or the electric catapult, which will become a steam catapult again…


Not a single word about their failure in the White Sea? let me help you with that.

Ricky Miller

That system has nothing to do with this article. That’s like me saying “not a single word about the loss of two space shuttles and no independent access to manned spaceflight for a decade now.” Not to mention the need to import Russian rocket engines to launch heavy DOD satellites. And so on. Everyone has their failures but the need to harp on Russia’s show a propaganda urge. The development of a nuclear powered cruise missile would be a heavy game changing weapon but has nothing at all to do with employing lasers on the battlefield.

Toronto Tonto

At least the USA made and used the space shuttle , Russia is no where close to that , ah hell the sr71 is still the fastest plane non rocket . The USA is far superior to Russia .

Ricky Miller

As I said, you are a Russian hating propaganda specialist. You’ll highlight their failures in support of your agenda and denigrate any Russian accomplishment. But, Russia has existed between the Baltic and Black Seas and the Arctic circle for better than a thousand years, outlasting all comers. They’ll likely be there a thousand years from now, in one form or another long after the Americans have pretty much poisoned themselves off with roundup, which is accumulating in American suburban dwellers Livers at three times the volume which causes cancer in laboratory animals.
P.S. the SR71 is no more. When Mig-31’s developed the combined aircraft and missile speed required to shoot them down the USAF retired them from service. It’s far less fun flying over someone else’s country when they can shoot you down. Russia’s current S-400 armed 40N6E missile flies at Mach 14 and has a better than two hundred kilometer range so Mig-31 launched missiles are not even required today for Russia to shoot down a fast moving spy plane.

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

plus russia is working on MiG-41 which can go into space, shoot lasers, go much faster probably, etc.

Tommy Jensen

Exactly what I have been telling everybody.
Russia survive on old rusty iron tanks and iron artillery and on future dreams about being Americans.
We survive on our superior intelligence in REAL technology in REAL life and in REAL combat.

Ricky Miller

Whatever. Russia has made great strides in improving her defenses and upgrading to new equipment. They would be farther ahead if they hadn’t had to spend something in the range of $100 billion plus in new strategic weaponry to counter the U.S. ABM system. Russia is improving her conventional defenses way too slowly but the rub is that they’re doing it while doing something the U.S. isn’t remotely close to accomplishing, namely remaining within their budget and not sticking their grandchildren with the bill.

Harry Smith

Putin explained the strategy couple of years ago? He said Russia will not make the mistake USSR made and will not join the arms race, because USA having US dollar as world currency has the access to the bottomless debt line in midterm future. So Russia would concentrate on the insuring that in case of invasion the enemies would be annihilated with 100% guarantee. Change of the rules of using nuclear weapons was the first step which in this strategy. Now, Russia will launch nukes even in case of conventional armed conflict. That’s why, even simple conflict on the Russian border, started by the USA puppets like Poland or Lithuania, can lead to the annihilation of modern civilization. And that’s why the anti Russian propaganda is so intensive now – bastards can do nothing except the permanent barking.


I question the statement “superior intelligence”. Not in USA.

Harry Smith

OK, let’s suppose you’re right. How then you will explain the USA army didn’t evaporated all that rusty Russian tanks and ships since conflict in Georgia? Isn’t US army superior with all those real-real combat and Kardashian proved high technology haute couture things?

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

i wish to see russian laser systems in action, and hope russia is always ahead of US and the world in general in lasers, hypersonics, missiles, everything

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Russia is winning the long-term economic contest without even firing a shot in anger, with a surplus govt budget, positive current account and ultra low debt level…
The U.S. is literally bleeding away towards a capitalist death, with it’s military industrial complex as the root cause for >$1 Trillion deficits.
U.S. Govt debt per capita head = $66, 666
RF Govt debt per capita head = $1,350
Anyone emigrating to the U.S. automatically gets a huge tax burden to repay over his/her lifetime, from that govt, to pay for the Pax America.

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