The Laser Battleship


Categorie: Ballistic Missiles, David Axe, Naval |



So you’ve spent years and billions of dollars designing a 14,000-ton stealthy battleship with enough on-board power generation to support an electromagnetic rail gun for attacking land targets. But history and reality intervene: the rail gun isn’t quite feasible and the shore-bombardment mission is waning. Then the Navy decides it can only afford three of the Zumwalt class of ships.

So what do you do with them now?

I was asked to keep the details under wrap, but I can confirm that one Pentagon think-tank is mulling the three planned Zumwalts as operational tech demonstrators for solid-state lasers capable of shooting down ballistic missiles. Missile-defense is a booming business, especially for the Navy, and lasers have grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. The Air Force unwisely pursued a volatile liquid-chemical laser for its missile-killing YAL-1 airplane, making an in-air accident a real possibility. Solid lasers are safer, and with the Zumwalt‘s ample space and megawatts of spare power — not to mention its powerful, dual-band radar — you might have a winning combination.

(Art: via


9 Responses to “The Laser Battleship”

  1. ELP says:

    America’s most expensive battleship; neutered in combat by a cloudy day.

  2. [...] Weather America’s most expensive battleship; neutered in combat by a cloudy day.   [...]

  3. Chris says:

    If the railgun flaws are worked out, ‘shore bombardment’ missions might have a long enough reach to be useful?

  4. ’shore bombardment’ ? Recalling another super-expensive weapons program relegated to a secondary role as soon as it was commission, the battleships of WW 2.

  5. Matt says:

    I think they will be useful as technology demonstrators albeit expensive ones. The CG(x) will probably be canceled or repackaged as something cheaper so these will be vital for test and research.

  6. Chris says:

    Although WW2 battleships were outdatedly envisaged as ships of the line, the secondary role the played was, never the less, vital.

  7. [...] The Laser Battleship. [...]

  8. RoninJin says:

    “You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!

  9. LayzurBoy says:

    How about surfers with lasers attached ? Like, woah dude, far f*in out. Hella rad doode. Can I have one for my board Navy ?

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