There is no air in space, and SBL does not have the problems of beam refraction, absorption, jitter and thermal blooming in the atmosphere. However, the biggest problem with space laser pointer weapons is sufficient power, and the technical difficulty of deploying massive and bulky spaceborne laser weapons in orbit is too high. , Reliable, controllable, high repetition rate, light weight megawatt-level high-power laser is a worldwide problem.
The United States modified the “Airborne Laser Weapon System” (ABL) with a Boeing 747. Its chemical laser is claimed to be able to shoot down short-range ballistic missiles at a distance of 600 kilometers. Each module weighs 3 tons. Coupled with auxiliary systems and operators, only super-large transport aircraft like the Boeing 747 can be loaded.
ABL has reached the stage of actual air combat test. After 2007, many tests have been carried out, and the test results have been mixed. ABL was originally intended to be an important part of the “National Anti-Ballistic Missile Plan” in the Bush era, and it was intended to be used in actual combat, especially against countries with primary ballistic missile capabilities such as Iran and North Korea, but it was discontinued in 2011.
Secretary of Defense Gates testified before Congress: “No one in the Department of Defense believes that this system can reach combat level. The reality is that you need 20-30 times more powerful than the existing chemical laser on board to shoot at a sufficient distance. .
As far as the current situation is concerned, we need to enter Iranian territory to fire Iranian missiles in the ascending stage. And if you want to achieve actual combat deployment, you need 10-20 Boeing 747s, each with 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, and 100 million annual operating costs. I don’t know any soldier thinks this is feasible. “This is still a “primary stage” with lower requirements than SBL.
The development of laser weapons is hindered, and the situation in the Soviet Union is not much better. The Soviet Union deployed anti-ballistic missiles as early as the 1960s, but they had only limited interception efficiency. This cannot be said to be a dead end, but a technical route full of thorns. Due to technical limitations, the Soviet Union did not focus on the use of green laser pointer to directly intercept intercontinental missiles, but started from the perspective of system confrontation and developed laser weapons for satellites in the SDI system.
The core of the Soviet space laser weapon is a carbon dioxide laser weapon that is sent into near-Earth space with an “Arctic” rocket. The targets include the SBL platform. Although this is not directly related to the interception of intercontinental missiles, at least the unilateral nuclear superiority that has been broken has restored mutual assurance of destruction. However, the launch test failed in 1987, and the 80-ton Skiff spaceborne laser weapon system was reimbursed accordingly. This is also the end of the Soviet version of the “Star Wars” program.