US lasers? PLA preparing to raise its deflector shields

Chinese scientists say they have developed protective coatings that would render weapons like the US’ ship-mounted laser useless in battle

Laser weapons like those developed by the United States pose little threat to the PLA – smog or no smog – because mainland researchers have pioneered coatings that can deflect beams and render them harmless, mainland scientists say.

PLA Navy Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong drew widespread ridicule last month when the National Defence University researcher suggested that China’s thick smog provided the country’s best defence against military lasers, like the gun the US Navy plans to deploy aboard a vessel in the Middle East this summer. Continue reading

U.S. Navy to deploy ‘Star Wars’-like laser system this summer; electromagnetic rail guns not far behind

BATH, Maine — Some of the Navy’s futuristic weapons sound like something out of “Star Wars,” with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds. That future is now.

The Navy plans to deploy its first laser on a ship later this year, and it intends to test an electromagnetic rail gun prototype aboard a vessel within two years. Continue reading

Pentagon strengthens naval forces in Gulf

The US Navy has deployed three additional coastal patrol ships to its Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, bolstering America’s presence in the strategic Gulf, officials said Wednesday.

The USS Tempest, the USS Squall and the USS Thunderbolt arrived Wednesday at the port of Manama, bringing the total number of patrol craft to eight, the Navy said. Continue reading

The future is now: Navy to deploys lasers on ships in 2014

The Pentagon has plans to deploy its first ever ship-mounted laser next year, a disruptive, cutting-edge weapon capable of obliterating small boats and unmanned aerial vehicles with a blast of infrared energy.

Navy officials announced Monday that in early 2014, a solid-state laser prototype will be mounted to the fantail of the USS Ponce and sent to the 5th fleet region in the Middle East for real-world experience. Continue reading

US anticipates May as tentative date for clash with Iran. Floating SEALs base for Gulf

Here’s a list of what the US is up against in regards to threats in the Strait of Hormuz and possibly the main reason behind the ‘floating base’ sources have mentioned is being placed in the area.

A hurried decision not to de-commission the USS Ponce helicopter marine carrier after duty in Libya – but to refit it for deployment by May in the Persian Gulf as a floating base for commando teams – was confirmed by the US Pentagon and Navy Sunday, Dec. 29. This transportable floating base will expand the commandos’ range in coastal areas and support counter-measure against mines which Iran has threatened to plant in the Strait of Hormuz in reprisal for the US-EU oil embargo. The SEALs will also take on Iran’s menacing fleet of military speedboats.

DEBKAfile reports Tehran operates four different kinds of these craft in the Persian Gulf:

1. Small, fast vessels, each armed with a small missile for striking tankers and coastal oil targets around the Gulf region, such as export terminals. Earlier this month, Tehran claimed to have developed stealth cruise missiles capable of disabling aircraft carriers with a single shot.

2. Small, extra-fast boats armed with torpedoes. Iranian publications claim several such boats are capable of stealing up on US aircraft carriers and large warships from several directions without being detected and cause serious damage.

3. Floating bombs for kamikaze missions. These fast boats cannot be deflected after locking in on target, whether on sea or shore, and explode on contact.

Iran used these floating missiles piloted by suicide squads to attack oil tankers in the Gulf in November 1987. Since then, their naval tacticians have upgraded this fleet with the technology gained from the British Bladerunner 51, a model of which Iran purchased some years ago.

Since early January, the Pentagon has reported four cases of harassment by Iranian military boats sailing close to American warships in the Persian Gulf.

4. Boats carrying teams of Iranian marine frogmen trained for secret suicide underwater missions: One member of the boat’s three-man crew dives close to the targeted ship and attaches a magnetic bomb to its hull. Iran has scattered hundreds of speedboats of different types around uninhabited islands off the Iranian mainland, tucking them out of sight in well-hidden inlets and bays. The US commando teams based on the Ponce platform will have the task of ferreting out and destroying this fleet.

Continue reading article: US anticipates May as tentative date for clash with Iran. Floating SEALs base for Gulf (DEBKAfile)