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SAS 2017: BAE Systems Unveils a 60 kW Variant of the MK 38 Tactical Laser System
 
At the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space 2017 exposition currently held near Washington D.C., BAE Systems unveiled the scale model of a new 60 kW variant of the Mk 38 Tactical Laser System (TLS). The previous Mk 38 TLS was a 10 kW variant but BAE Systems developed the new 60 kW variant after the U.S. Navy expressed some interest for a much more powerful system.
 
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Sea Air Space 2017 Online Show Coverage - BAE Systems
 
 
 
SAS 2017: BAE Systems Unveils a 60 kW Variant of the MK 38 Tactical Laser System
 
At the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space 2017 exposition currently held near Washington D.C., BAE Systems unveiled the scale model of a new 60 kW variant of the Mk 38 Tactical Laser System (TLS). The previous Mk 38 TLS was a 10 kW variant but BAE Systems developed the new 60 kW variant after the U.S. Navy expressed some interest for a much more powerful system.
     
60 kW Mk 38 Tactical Laser System scale model on BAE Systems stand at Sea Air Space 2017.
     
According to BAE Systems, the Mk 38 TLS, as conceived, would be an advanced capability laser weapon module ordalt to the Mk 38 Mod 2 Machine Gun System (MGS) for adding scalable self defense.

The Mk 38 Mod 2 MGS from BAE Systems sets the standard for shipboard defense against small, fast and agile surface threats. With system variants deployed worldwide, the stabilized, remote control Mk 38 Mod 2 MGS has been proven capable in defending against multiple surface threats. The Mk 38 Mod 2 MGS incorporates the service proven TOPLITE Electro-Optical Sensor (EOS) integrated with a state-of-the-art fire control system to optimize effective engagement of enemy targets in all weather conditions, day or night. The system can be applied to a wide range of different ship classes and platform designs of 50 tons or greater displacement.

The addition of a 60kW TLS would provide true selectable and scalable effects ranging from non-lethal to lethal. This would allow for new response options in both conventional and irregular conflicts.
     
60 kW Mk 38 Tactical Laser System scale model on BAE Systems stand at Sea Air Space 2017.
     
Weapon and Effects–The 60kW TLS would provide an effective counter for swarm boats and, with further modifications to the Mk 38 MGS, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at tactically significant ranges. Effects on the target are controlled through changes in dwell time,
spot size (focus), and selection of aimpoint on the target.

Survivability–The TLS would provide for crewsafe conditions with a remote operation console located in the Combat Information Center or in other protected ship structures. Operation of the TLS could be conducted by the Mk 38 Mod 2 MGS operator, from the same console. No personnel action is required for reload since electrical power is the only consumable for the TLS.

Command and Control–The TLS could utilize the existing integrated fire control system for target queuing. TOPLITE EOS then executes target handoff to the TLS organic optical tracking system, providing high-precision aimpoint management on an operator-designated aimpoint. In addition, the laser beam director optics would provide target identification at ranges substantially greater than what is available today.

Ship Impacts–The TLS would provide expanded capability with manageable ship impacts. Dedicated TLS equipment can fit below deck or in raised section (which would typically be 2 to 3 feet in height according to a BAE representative).