The Navy’s F110 frigates are being equipped with laser weapons from a Spanish factory

The Spanish Navy, like others around them who have already decided to install them, is striving to incorporate a defensive laser system into various types of ships. Most advanced in this regard would be the reserve of electrical energy envisaged in the five future F110 frigates, although it is very likely that these teams will be deployed, capable of dealing with various types of threats in flight and beyond to stop the surface becomes general and also reaches other types of military ships.

As far as we know and are waiting to be checked, this is the most advisable option for a high energy laser system (HEL) right now. Shooting down a small drone is not the same as intercepting a missile moving at high speed. Yes, advances have been made to validate the national ability to refine various concepts that can even come about, i.e. within a few years to obtain high-powered laser weapon capabilities that can even counteract cruise missiles against ASCM (Anti -Ship Cruise Missiles) proceed.

Work is currently underway on the so-called SIGILAR research and development (R&D) (Pulsed Laser Guided System for the military) program, which provides for the development of a base with a laser emitter and a range of devices that can be used to target the Point at which the beam can neutralize the object that is considered a definite threat. The work on procurement began with resolution 320/38331/2018 of December 17, with which the General Directorate Armaments and Materials (DGAM) after its assessment by the Technological Observation and Prospective System (SOPT) of the Sub-Directorate for Planning, Technology and Innovation ( SDG PLATINUM), a series of projects of interest to the defense.

With the generic theme of laser-guided high-performance energy weapons, the SIGILAR project was approved. It included the procurement of a HEL system for the military and the winner of the development funds was the Ultra-Short Ultra-Intense Pulsed Laser (CLPU) Center in Salamanca. From December 2019 to the end of October 2021 they are working on the development of a laser demonstrator with a peak power of more than 15 kilowatts, which fires stably and can be coupled to a platform with a control and guidance system for the beam equipment, subject to functional tests in field tests from delivery.

Escribano Mechanical and Engineering (EM&E) works with CLPU and as part of the COINCIDENTE program, both supported by the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA). As far as we know, given that this type of solid state laser (SSL) system is one of the best options for threats inherent in asymmetric warfare, this team will be a top notch operational team is a protester. The laser emitter, which can generate light beams with high peak power, can be coupled to a platform with a control and steering system for validation. It is a concept that, with resources and support from the Technical Directorate of the Logistics Support Headquarters (JAL), can lead to a national team that does not require purchasing it from other foreign manufacturers. (Octavio Dec Cmara)

Photo: SIGILAR is a demonstrator of a laser weapon for the F110 frigates, which has several years to develop. (Navantia)

Several companies are working on concepts like this Oerlikon can, a device that gives an idea of ​​what the Spanish Navy might be interested in. (Octavio Dec Cmara)

It is not ruled out, and it would be a very versatile option, to include a high energy laser weapon in the upgrade of the F100 frigates. (Octavio Dec Cmara)

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