by DAVID AXE
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 Allwoodships.com)