Directed Energy Weapons

Contains threads on Joint Service equipment of the past, present and future.
tomuk
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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

Post by tomuk »

Ron5 wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 13:55
PS still think that debugging a system on a deployed warship isn't the smartest idea around. After all, that was the approach taken with the Type 45 propulsion system. Saved oodles on money not testing it out onshore first. (Buff)Hoon must be very proud :roll:
Type 45 propulsion system was tested onshore first. GE still advertise the facility today.
https://www.gevernova.com/power-convers ... -Emulation

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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DragonFire: Royal Navy warships to be fitted with laser weapon in 2027

(Forces TV) 12th April 2024
The Royal Navy's fleet is set to come fitted with a powerful new laser weapons system designed to take out drones.

DragonFire, which can shoot down drones and missiles and even defeat enemy sensors, is set to enter service in three years' time.

No longer the stuff of sci-fi, the directed energy systems will soon be a familiar sight on Royal Navy ships after the Ministry of Defence announced it is accelerating its £100m laser weapons programme to introduce them to the frontline in 2027 – five years ahead of schedule.

How the £10-a-shot laser precision weapon DragonFire destroys targets

(Forces News) 12th April 2024
The DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) is a line-of-sight weapon and can engage with any visible target, according to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

It destroys targets with an intense beam of light and has pinpoint precision and can hit an object the size of a £1 coin from a kilometre away.

Here Graeme McNaught from Leonardo, one of the weapon's manufacturers, talks Forces News through how it works.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

Post by Ron5 »

tomuk wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 17:37
Ron5 wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 13:55
PS still think that debugging a system on a deployed warship isn't the smartest idea around. After all, that was the approach taken with the Type 45 propulsion system. Saved oodles on money not testing it out onshore first. (Buff)Hoon must be very proud :roll:
Type 45 propulsion system was tested onshore first. GE still advertise the facility today.
https://www.gevernova.com/power-convers ... -Emulation
Nope. Hoon famously cancelled them. I'm sure there's a test facility now for the PIP work.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

Post by tomuk »

Ron5 wrote: 17 Apr 2024, 13:56
tomuk wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 17:37
Ron5 wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 13:55
PS still think that debugging a system on a deployed warship isn't the smartest idea around. After all, that was the approach taken with the Type 45 propulsion system. Saved oodles on money not testing it out onshore first. (Buff)Hoon must be very proud :roll:
Type 45 propulsion system was tested onshore first. GE still advertise the facility today.
https://www.gevernova.com/power-convers ... -Emulation
Nope. Hoon famously cancelled them. I'm sure there's a test facility now for the PIP work.
Yes. The WR21 was tested at the now closed NGTE Pyestock and half a shipset of the entire prolusion system was tested at Converteam Whetstone.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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tomuk wrote: 17 Apr 2024, 18:06
Ron5 wrote: 17 Apr 2024, 13:56
tomuk wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 17:37
Ron5 wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 13:55
PS still think that debugging a system on a deployed warship isn't the smartest idea around. After all, that was the approach taken with the Type 45 propulsion system. Saved oodles on money not testing it out onshore first. (Buff)Hoon must be very proud :roll:
Type 45 propulsion system was tested onshore first. GE still advertise the facility today.
https://www.gevernova.com/power-convers ... -Emulation
Nope. Hoon famously cancelled them. I'm sure there's a test facility now for the PIP work.
Yes. The WR21 was tested at the now closed NGTE Pyestock and half a shipset of the entire prolusion system was tested at Converteam Whetstone.
No.

In the evidence to the UK Defense Committee, I draw your attention to point number 5 in the summary. Read the rest of the evidence if you need more information. Basically Hoon closed Pystock to save money in the hope manufacturers own testing would be adequate. It wasn't.
Written evidence submitted by Lieutenant Commander Alan Cartwright (Retd) and
Lieutenant Commander Robert Barnes RN (Retd)

TYPE 45 DESTROYERS – ROLLS ROYCE WR-21 MAIN ENGINE FAILURES

SUMMARY
In this submission to the Defence Select Committee, the authors have:
1. Described the failure of the inadequately developed G6 engine before entry into service
with the first generation of guided missile destroyers, and frigates, 50 years ago.

2. Described how the RN undertook the G6 engine’s restoration and improvement, and
established a rigorous test procedure for all future marine gas turbines before the WR-21.

3. Shown how these test procedures were thoroughly validated in the Falklands war.

4. Noted that the RM60, ancestor of the WR-21, failed with similar problems in 1955.

5. And noted that these recurrent problems do not appear to have been overcome before the
WR-21 engines entered service in Type 45 destroyers, mainly we believe, because the RN
had disbanded their specialist unit at Pyestock, which subsequently MoD shut down.

6. Suggested that the adverse effect of skilled manpower shortage and curtailment of training
in the RN effected reliable operation and maintenance of these engines.

7. Concluded that history has repeated itself by disregarding past lessons learnt, and made
recommendations for the Committee to follow up answers to their questions provided by the
Secretary of State; and by the main contractor’s representatives on 3rd June 2016.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

Post by tomuk »

Ron5 wrote: 18 Apr 2024, 15:26
tomuk wrote: 17 Apr 2024, 18:06
Ron5 wrote: 17 Apr 2024, 13:56
tomuk wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 17:37
Ron5 wrote: 14 Apr 2024, 13:55
PS still think that debugging a system on a deployed warship isn't the smartest idea around. After all, that was the approach taken with the Type 45 propulsion system. Saved oodles on money not testing it out onshore first. (Buff)Hoon must be very proud :roll:
Type 45 propulsion system was tested onshore first. GE still advertise the facility today.
https://www.gevernova.com/power-convers ... -Emulation
Nope. Hoon famously cancelled them. I'm sure there's a test facility now for the PIP work.
Yes. The WR21 was tested at the now closed NGTE Pyestock and half a shipset of the entire prolusion system was tested at Converteam Whetstone.
No.

In the evidence to the UK Defense Committee, I draw your attention to point number 5 in the summary. Read the rest of the evidence if you need more information. Basically Hoon closed Pystock to save money in the hope manufacturers own testing would be adequate. It wasn't.
Written evidence submitted by Lieutenant Commander Alan Cartwright (Retd) and
Lieutenant Commander Robert Barnes RN (Retd)

TYPE 45 DESTROYERS – ROLLS ROYCE WR-21 MAIN ENGINE FAILURES

SUMMARY
In this submission to the Defence Select Committee, the authors have:
1. Described the failure of the inadequately developed G6 engine before entry into service
with the first generation of guided missile destroyers, and frigates, 50 years ago.

2. Described how the RN undertook the G6 engine’s restoration and improvement, and
established a rigorous test procedure for all future marine gas turbines before the WR-21.

3. Shown how these test procedures were thoroughly validated in the Falklands war.

4. Noted that the RM60, ancestor of the WR-21, failed with similar problems in 1955.

5. And noted that these recurrent problems do not appear to have been overcome before the
WR-21 engines entered service in Type 45 destroyers, mainly we believe, because the RN
had disbanded their specialist unit at Pyestock, which subsequently MoD shut down.

6. Suggested that the adverse effect of skilled manpower shortage and curtailment of training
in the RN effected reliable operation and maintenance of these engines.

7. Concluded that history has repeated itself by disregarding past lessons learnt, and made
recommendations for the Committee to follow up answers to their questions provided by the
Secretary of State; and by the main contractor’s representatives on 3rd June 2016.
Do you actually read the evidence you've provided to prove me wrong?

What does point 5 prove? that the testing that was carried out at Pyestock wasn't thorough enough because it was carried out by the manufactures rather than RN experts formerly located in the same building?

I quote from you linked document as regards testing of WR21 and T45 wider IEP system
24. The first engine was assembled and developed in the vacant ATH (Admiralty Test House Pyestock) in 1993 and 1994, described
by Watson, Parker and Branch of Rolls Royce, (Q).

25. The Pyestock engine was transferred to the Converteam Ltd test site at Whetstone, Leicester, as
part of the Electric Ship Technology Demonstrator (ESTD). For Type 45 propulsion, great
emphasis was rightly placed on the development of the novel electrical systems. ESTD
approximated to a shore test facility for the Type 45, (R).
WR21 and the IEP system were tested at Pyestock and Whetstone respectively as I claimed. It is also of note that Duncan has some of her equipment made up of reused components recovered from Whetstone after testing.

Whether the test programmes were adequate, long enough, involved the appropriate retired RN experts and whether their truncation was due to Geoff Hoon, Gordon Brown or USN\DOD losing interest in the programme and withdrawing funding after GE agreed to update LM2500 on agreeable terms is not the question in hand.

Next you will be telling me that Martlet and LMM aren't the same missile.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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Despite your panicked introduction of a bunch of red herrings, the basic point was that the WR-21 was not adequately tested because of Hoon's decision to close Pyestock. That lack of testing lead directly to the failures of the ships when in service.

I know you will respond with more nonsense as your MO is to insist on the last word. But I am bowing out of this discussion.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

Post by tomuk »

Ron5 wrote: 20 Apr 2024, 14:19 Despite your panicked introduction of a bunch of red herrings, the basic point was that the WR-21 was not adequately tested because of Hoon's decision to close Pyestock. That lack of testing lead directly to the failures of the ships when in service.

I know you will respond with more nonsense as your MO is to insist on the last word. But I am bowing out of this discussion.
Hoisted by your own petard and attempting to make smoke to cover your humiliating retreat.

I've not panickily introduced anything unlike yourself. Your original point wasn't about adequacy of testing, it wasn't even about WR-21 specifically. As the document you posted yourself says Wr21 with the other parts of the T45 IEP system were tested together at Whetstone following WR21 testing at Pyestock, as I originally said, simple as that. A much better look would be just to admit you're wrong.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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To be made into a viable weapon it would need to be shrunk in size, with an increase in range, say 5000m against an individual target less against a swarm. Then their is the problem of countermeasures. I'm not an expert, but I would have thought it would be relatively easy to harden drones against RF radiation.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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Can't harden them completely, otherwise the controller can't control them.
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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

Post by RunningStrong »

whitelancer wrote: 17 May 2024, 19:38 To be made into a viable weapon it would need to be shrunk in size, with an increase in range, say 5000m against an individual target less against a swarm. Then their is the problem of countermeasures. I'm not an expert, but I would have thought it would be relatively easy to harden drones against RF radiation.
Only if it's truly autonomous and uses only inertial guidance...

Control antenna, GPS antenna, target acquisition sensor, altimeter, object-avoidance sensors...


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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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In the March MBDA, Leonardo and QinetiQ confirmed to Naval News that they were working to engineer a follow-on ‘productised’ DragonFire LDEW design

Richard Wray, MBDA UK’s director of engineering.
“We’ve demonstrated military utility, and therefore the next step is how to take it to something that can be used by one of our armed forces.
“So for the sort of applications that we’re considering [in or roadmap] we know how we would approach that for producing multiple systems.”

Kenny McCormick, Leonardo’s head of capability – advanced targeting, said there was a good understanding of what it would need to scale up or down, but that work would be required to ‘harden’ the system to make it suitable for fielding. “We recognise that going forward, and moving into some sort of delivery programme, we would need to improve reliability. We are currently using some COTS [commercial-off-the-shelf] equipment that would not survive the military environment – but we have identified routes to resolve these sorts of issues.

“Also, the current beam director was built to demonstrate the required capability and performance [but] there are massive opportunities to reduce size, weight and power.” “What drives the need for this is the operating environment COTS fibre lasers are designed to operate in a machine shop, which is a very temperature-controlled environment. You can’t control the military environment to that same level, and so the output power falls off. So we’ve been working with Dstl on how we maximise the performance across a wider environmental band.”

The other key issue is vibration. “In a COTS amplifier, the fibre is taped down, and that’s not going to work if it’s on a [platform] with constant low frequency and high frequency vibration. So we’re developing techniques to ensure that the fibre in the system and all the optical components remain at optimal performance when subjected to those levels of vibration.

It means we can offer reliability in the thousands [of hours] as opposed to the hundreds that you’ll get with COTS amplifiers,” Leonardo has currently developed this technology to about TRL 5, technology validated in relevant environment, in preparation for manufacture. “We’ve got demonstrators lined up,” McCormick said. “Beyond that, the next phase of the joint Leonardo/Dstl programme will get us up to TRL 7. System prototype demonstration in operational environment. Productised is classed as TRL 9, actual system proven in operational environment.

In light of the above it seems a very, very ambitious target that they will be able to fit a productised CIWS DragonFire LDEW on ship in 2027, range has not been disclosed but would think it might be approx. 3 km.

PS The USAF has cancelled their lasers, SHiELD envisaged to fit on F-16 and AHEL for the C130 gun ship, the US Army sent its four Styker 50 kW DE M-SHORAD prototypes to the Mid-East for testing in a live environment complete with weather challenges and dust storms that can alter light particles and degrade beam quality and the feedback is not positive, its proving challenging to incorporate into a vehicle that has to move around constantly, the heat dissipation, the amount of electronics, kind of the wear and tear of a vehicle in a tactical environment versus a fixed site.
The results from the lab environment and test ranges has proven very different from the tactical environment, one other drawback is the delicate components/internal mechanisms for lasers weapons are sensitive and typically require a specialised clean room for repairs and US Army has recently cut $4.8 billion from its HEL budget in its new five year plan as it focuses on a try before buy policy with lasers.

As far as know there is no conceivable technical leap forward that will fix the lasers problems of light scattering and absorption due to moisture, dust, obscurants and wind turbulence and so you don't have a weapon that you can depend on 100% of the time so lasers have to be "in addition" not as a replacement for guns and missiles and that raises the question are lasers worth the £millions investment required.

https://www.twz.com/news-features/u-s-m ... lity-check
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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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MoD gambling big on DragonFire, will bring additional capability for CIWS though will be non-operational in adverse atmospheric conditions as outlined in my above post due to the lasers inherent limitations.
James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, provided a detailed breakdown of the funding, stating, “The DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapons accelerated programme, announced in April 2024 by the Secretary of State for Defence, will see £350 million in government investment by April 2027 to deliver minimum deployable capability.”
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/britain ... programme/

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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Dude, guns don't work all the time either. Neither do UAV's.
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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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Each generation will get better, but it would be foolish to rely on them 100% at the moment, hence the layerd defence of most ships, but even if you get attacked by a swarm of 20 drones ( for example ) & your EW takes 2 or 3 that means you save 2 or 3 expensive missile @ cheapish targets, which could mean staying in the area longer rather needing to leave to re-arm
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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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NickC wrote: 25 May 2024, 12:48 PS The USAF has cancelled their lasers, SHiELD envisaged to fit on F-16 and AHEL for the C130 gun ship,
There's a few massive issues with aircraft lasers. Field of regard, time on target, in-atmosphere misses, outside-atmosphere misses. We're nowhere near the SWAP requirements to put on anything less than a larger transport aircraft.
NickC wrote: 25 May 2024, 12:48 the US Army sent its four Styker 50 kW DE M-SHORAD prototypes to the Mid-East for testing in a live environment complete with weather challenges and dust storms that can alter light particles and degrade beam quality and the feedback is not positive, its proving challenging to incorporate into a vehicle that has to move around constantly, the heat dissipation, the amount of electronics, kind of the wear and tear of a vehicle in a tactical environment versus a fixed site.
Largely issues with OTS components and sub-systems being brought into a MOTS product.
NickC wrote: 25 May 2024, 12:48 As far as know there is no conceivable technical leap forward that will fix the lasers problems of light scattering and absorption due to moisture, dust, obscurants and wind turbulence and so you don't have a weapon that you can depend on 100% of the time so lasers have to be "in addition" not as a replacement for guns and missiles and that raises the question are lasers worth the £millions investment required.
There are effective ways around most of that which are dependent on power and coherent beam forming.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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Ron5 wrote: 26 May 2024, 14:05 Dude, guns don't work all the time either. Neither do UAV's.
Dude, neither do missiles, usual metric assumed as 80% success rate and why very common to see two missiles fired per target, though Israelis do claim 90% with Iron Dome, but the big differential is that missiles and guns still operate in fog and rain etc whereas lasers don't.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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RunningStrong wrote: 26 May 2024, 15:50 Largely issues with OTS components and sub-systems being brought into a MOTS product.
Have seen no reference Kord Technologies, a Raytheon company, who built the DE M-SHORADs with a Raytheon laser, used OTS components, do you have contrary information?
RunningStrong wrote: 26 May 2024, 15:50 There are effective ways around most of that which are dependent on power and coherent beam forming.
If understand correctly your saying need more powerful lasers, how much more powerful, up to MW class? If so ships will have re-enginneered with larger generators and distribution system and the laser cooling systems will need to be an order of magnitude more powerful to cool the larger lasers . Assuming coherent beam forming might be marginally more effective but the laser beam will still be degraded by advese atmospheric conditions, in US they are experimenting with adaptive optics to compensate for atmospheric interference with deformable mirrors in order to achieve wavefront control and correction of optical aberrations.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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NickC wrote: 27 May 2024, 10:04
Ron5 wrote: 26 May 2024, 14:05 Dude, guns don't work all the time either. Neither do UAV's.
Dude, neither do missiles, usual metric assumed as 80% success rate and why very common to see two missiles fired per target, though Israelis do claim 90% with Iron Dome, but the big differential is that missiles and guns still operate in fog and rain etc whereas lasers don't.
It depends on guidance technology, and even then, not always.

PS Your success rate is just a number pulled out of your ass.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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Ron5 wrote: 27 May 2024, 12:51
NickC wrote: 27 May 2024, 10:04
Ron5 wrote: 26 May 2024, 14:05 Dude, guns don't work all the time either. Neither do UAV's.
Dude, neither do missiles, usual metric assumed as 80% success rate and why very common to see two missiles fired per target, though Israelis do claim 90% with Iron Dome, but the big differential is that missiles and guns still operate in fog and rain etc whereas lasers don't.
It depends on guidance technology, and even then, not always.

PS Your success rate is just a number pulled out of your ass.
Sources
Across the entire missile defense enterprise, which includes shorter-range missile defense systems, the success rate in testing is approximately 80 percent. However, shorter-range systems, such as the Patriot and THAAD missile defense programs, are limited to smaller, regional coverage areas. The only program designed to protect the entire United States homeland from a long-range missile attack is the GMD program. GMD has a failing test record: a success rate of just 55 percent in highly scripted tests, including three misses in the last six tries

https://armscontrolcenter.org/issues/mi ... questions/
How effective is Iron Dome? Israel's military has claimed a success rate of up to 90% for Iron Dome.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20385306

Dude it appears you are the the one talking out of your ass :crazy:
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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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NickC wrote: 27 May 2024, 11:26 Have seen no reference Kord Technologies, a Raytheon company, who built the DE M-SHORADs with a Raytheon laser, used OTS components, do you have contrary information?
Nothing I've seen published in the open domain, nor to claim otherwise.
NickC wrote: 27 May 2024, 11:26 If understand correctly your saying need more powerful lasers, how much more powerful, up to MW class? If so ships will have re-enginneered with larger generators and distribution system and the laser cooling systems will need to be an order of magnitude more powerful to cool the larger lasers .
Think of it like using Pulse Width Modulation of a Light Emiting Diode. It's very difficult to switch a laser like that, but if you can then you can reduce many of the issues you have raised because the atmospheric effects are reduced but the power of each Pulse may be greater, but overall energy and power demand on the platform can be the same.

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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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@NickC

Are you kidding me?? The article you quote is from an organization against weapons stating, without a shred of evidence, that testing US missiles designed to intercept ballistic missiles has an overall 80% success in testing anti-ballistic (ABM) missiles.

Well let's assume they have no bias in rubbishing ABM systems even though that is the thrust of the article. And let's assume they did the homework and counted every test shot fired by every ABM missile, and assessed success against the shot's success metric for each shot, to derive an overall 80%. Yeah right.

The vast majority of these test shots would be for missiles under development, fired in carefully controlled conditions, to prove that some aspect of their system works as designed. The engine, the flight control, the FCS etc etc. So how many included a completely developed missile system being actually being fired against a realistic target from its intended in-service platform (truck, launcher, ship etc) ?? Not very many because those tests are extremely expensive and are usually used to test the operators rather than the system.

And from that 80% you've decided that all in-service missiles (air to air, air to surface, surface to surface, surface to air etc) from all countries, in all conditions, kill 80% of their targets. For fuck's sake.

What you are desperately grasping for is the probability of kill (Pk) of a missile system when used within its capabilities. For example, within a specific range and in specific weather conditions and against a target operating withing specific limits. And then you can derive a set of Pk's which you can plot as a pretty set of curves. That cannot be boiled down to just one number with any kind of credibility. You know, the thing you don't have.

Let me give an example, the Pk of the Starstreak missile fired in heavy rain that would defeat Dragonfire, is zero. Why? Because Starstreak is a laser beam rider and if one laser doesn't work, neither does the other.

The basic point is that Dragonfire has plenty of value even if it cannot operate in all weather conditions (just as Starstreak has value even if it can't work in the same adverse weather) despite your many attempts to claim otherwise.
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Re: Directed Energy Weapons

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@Ron5
Lets bring some reality to the discussion, missiles do not have a 100% success rate, even the Israelis only claim 90% with Iron Dome. We only have to look at current actual performance in the real world, Ukraine and Red Sea, below pics of a Patriot that misfired and landed in the street in Kiev. There are examples in the Red Sea where the two SM-2s fired from the German frigate Hessen experienced a so far unspecified technical malfunction and fell into the sea, the Danish frigate Iver Huitfeldt had a system malfunction that prevented it firing its ESSMs, one of the USN Burke destroyers had to resort to using its last ditch weapon system the very short range Phalanx 20mm gun.

As far as know Sea Ceptor and Phalanx operate in all weather conditions unlike lasers and though as said previously lasers should be "in addition" to guns and missiles, though also think the CIWS spend by the MoD too heavily weighted in favour of lasers due to their current limitations.
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