Lasers Go Semi Man-Portable

The Motley Fool (warning – investing advise website) reports that Boeing (the one that makes airplanes) has released the Compact Laser Weapon System (LWS), a 650-lbs multi-case system for ground battlefield laser weapon deployment. The LWS is designed to track aircraft, incoming artillery rounds, and UAVs.

The system, according to Boeing, is broken down into four parts:

  1. Battery
  2. Water-cooled Chiller
  3. Fiber Laser
  4. Beam Director

Boeing states that the system can be assembled in just 15 minutes, deploying a beam capable of destroying targets at up to 22 miles. Supposedly, SOCOM is testing the LWS….


All photos courtesy of Motley Fool

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Kev

    Any word it goes Pew pew pew!!!

    • Cornelius Carroll

      For an extra $500,000 Boeing will sell you a proprietary bluetooth speaker that plays a “pew pew” soundtrack.

      • Kev

        Shut up and take my money!!!!

  • Ripley

    It weighs less than your mom.

  • Seburo

    They made a laser weapon that over weighs five times then an M2 Browning. But it is more portable then a C-Ram.
    So progress I guess?

    • MR

      Baby steps.

    • USMC03Vet

      Remember the first cell phones? Required a car…..

      • Canadian Vet

        Or they came in a briefcase-sized package.

  • MR

    Hello…Is there anybody in there?…Just nod if you can hear me…Is there anyone home?

  • Tassiebush

    Only a matter of time before a version of this that makes anything in sight and breathing dead very quickly gets rolled out.

    • Budogunner

      Keep an eye on Google’s robotics program. I say Google because the bought Boston Dynamics, the folks making the robot cheetahs and such.

      Also, don’t name any of your kids John Connor, just in case.

      • avconsumer2

        Or do! Hey… at least he survives! (& lives to see and probably fire a phased plasma pulse rifle in the 40 watt range)

        • Tassiebush

          Damnit the future needs to deliver! Where is my plasma rifle, jet pack, flying car or milk bars like on Clockwork Orange? And why is it that every time I dress like those people on Logan’s run I get laughed at. It’s the future so let’s get futuristic!

      • Tassiebush

        I’m heading for the hills as soon as Google changes it’s name to skynet.

  • noob

    Hmm. I wonder if they made it 1/100th the weight would the only thing a sniper would have to worry about when making a shot come down to mirage bending the beam (although this could be exploited) and specular reflections burning out his own eyeballs.

  • Paul O.

    The desperately needed drone killer.

  • Canadian Vet

    So at 650 pounds, it would be man-portable… by at least an infantry section not carrying anything else! As it exists, that system would be useless to anyone who isn’t mechanized or air-inserted extremely close to their planned firing point. The sheer weight and size would pretty much remove a lot of the tactical flexibility, in my opinion.

    On the other hand, it would allow setup in spots inaccessible by vehicles, if they have the time to carry the damn thing before the mission window closes. But bugging out from a compromised location with that thing? Not happening. So it would mean each unit carrying one of those would have to also carry extra explosives of one type or another to ensure it isn’t captured, further reducing its combat effectiveness.

    • lol

      weighs a might bit lighter than most AA gun setups.

      not to mention that once in place, with proper energy supply, it never needs ammunition. You can continue operating in one spot nearly indefinitely.

      Compared to your standard man portable Javelin, that bit makes it worlds better.

      • tts

        Energy supply is going to be the problem. Any man or small truck portable batteries will be quickly exhausted.

        You’d need a hook up to mains power in order to operate nearly indefinitely. Or a huge dedicated generator. A 10kW laser can chew through electricity at a hair raising rate.

        • bobthebobthex2

          current off the shelf fiber laser technology would use about 1 milliliter of gasoline for your average 3 second engagement. ipg, the biggest name in fiber lasers has increased system efficiency by about 50% in the last 3 years, putting a bit more destructive energy into the target as a a round from a .50 cal. 1 gallon of gas or 3800 rounds of .50 cal – what would you rather carry?

  • A.WChuck

    Where is the shark on which to mount it? Asking for a bald friend of mine.

    • Budogunner

      Even more importantly, can it cook bacon from 22 miles away? We must be practical, after all.

  • jay

    Man, you guys are a bunch of sour bastards.
    The bloody thing has a range of 22 miles!!! What other 650lbs system can take out drones, planes, arty and mortar shells at that range?
    This is awesome.

    • Anomanom

      True that. It will be slightly less awesome the day some boob walks in front of it and gets their head melted like that guy in Indiana Jones. The design as pictured seems like it would be dangerously accident prone.

      It also needs a speaker that plays “Ima firin mah lazer!” when you hit the trigger.

      • lol

        it would be similarly stupid to walk in front of a howitzer or tank gun while in operation.

  • Nergyl

    650 pounds is actually pretty damn good for a system that includes the battery.

  • gunsandrockets

    It’s the sentry gun from Aliens!

  • Okay, so now we have lasers, now just give me my jet-pack and make me a shotgun that shoots acid, and I’m all goood.

  • Secundius

    I don’t think it even a weapon! Look like a Secure Laser Communications System (aka Semaphore)…