Tuesday, February 10, 2015

US Navy 30-year plan: Advanced energy weapons on new ships

NextBigFuture.com, Feb 10

In the near-term planning period, available platforms are limited to existing ships, flight upgrades, a new amphibious platform (LX(R)), and the SSBN(X). Advanced weapons and sensors are expected to continue to drive electrical system requirements as are energy security considerations.
The mid-term planning period introduces several new platforms: DDG(X) in FY 2031, LCS(X) in FY2030, a large deck amphibious ship in FY 2024, and potentially an additional variant of DDG 51 in the FY2022-2024 time frame. Advanced weapons and sensors with higher power demands as
well as energy security will continue to be the primary electrical requirement drivers during this period. Capabilities such as arctic operations, platforms with mission modules, and low observability may play key roles. 
The far-term involves additional uncertainty, but it is expected that additional directed energy weapons requiring even more power will become available as well as higher-powered sensors and rail guns of increasing size and capability. It is likely that Navy platforms will operate these systems simultaneously. The Navy will also introduce additional modular ships with modular mission payloads and electric power systems will be required to provide improved power system flexibility. Far-term power systems are anticipated to become more autonomous and simple to operate, smaller, lighter and less costly.

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