The People’s Liberation Army has taken a major step forward in its laser weapons program after achieving breakthroughs that could lead to safer and wider applications.
According to Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet, China’s so-called “Eye” series of large-sized weapons systems have been plagued by criticisms of instability and corrosiveness, with claims that the technology could cause blindness under high-speed conditions. In Western countries, this form of technology is prohibited from being exported to China, meaning Chinese scientists are left to explore this field on their own.
A recent report from the state-owned China News Service, however, said that researchers have finally broken through a bottleneck. Initially, scientists suggested testing laser deposition of diamond-like carbon (DLC) films to expand the application of laser technology. Though some problems were resolved after four years of research, the technology still failed to pass specified sonic-speed tests, meaning that it is still not ready to be applied to weaponry.
The researchers did not give up and began trying other methods, and have now finally created the country’s first dual-beam pulsed laser deposition system, which has already passed hypersonic wind tunnel tests, the report said.
China has been conducting large-scale testing of laser platforms in recent years, and scientists believe that they are now catching up to leading international standards.
Full article: PLA achieves breakthroughs in laser weapons tech (Want China Times)