640-3 Project - Laser
Of the three kinds of ABM anti-missile engineering, the laser subproject was named "640-3 Project". The Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics Research Institute undertooke the project intended to produce a high-energy lasers, used to intercept ballistic missiles. In 1964, the Shanghai institute set the high-power solid-state lasers as the main goal, and started neodymium glass laser system development. By the mid-1970s, "640-3 Project" laser anti-missile research had made important achievements, and was given a major scientific achievement award by the National Defense Science and Technology Commission. The project on the history of the development of high-energy laser technology contribution can not be ignored, as it took Chinese laser technology level to a higher level.
Their results mainly in:
- the size of the project built a large diameter (120 mm) oscillation -amplified laser system, the maximum output energy of 320,000 joules; improved beam quality after 30,000 joules.
- realization of the system technology integration, successfully carried out targeting experiments, an indoor 10 meters Breakdown 80 mm aluminum target, Outdoor 2 km away from the breakdown 0.2 mm aluminum target, and systematic study of the biological effects of intense laser radiation and material damage mechanisms.
- first suggested the light of the laser light loss system itself phenomena and mechanisms.
- first in-depth knowledge and understanding of the importance of the laser beam quality and physical connotation, using a series of improved beam quality and innovative technology.
- laser components and supporting technology breakthrough to improve.
- to cultivate and foster a number of technical cadres.
Thanks to a good foundation before, now China has become the second after the United States have developed independently, building a new generation of high-power laser driver capable laser cannon developed countries, and making some progress. But the final judgment was that the thermal effect was technically a fundamental technical obstacle to a laser system. In 1976 the program was halted.
But the "640-3 Project" so that our laser technology research level on a higher level. China's optical industry major academic founder, pioneer and organizational leaders, academicians Wang Daheng 1993 was recalled, said: "After a long exploration, We believe that the laser is not suitable for weapons, but it uses cutting-edge science and technology to go up, we can say that the optical aspects of the research today has come to the United States in front. "
It should be added that the official information in the "laser anti missiles" is not known to everyone. More information has yet to be made public.
China maintained interest in a “larger class of weapons” or what it calls xin gainian wuqi (“new concept weapons”). Within that category are “high power lasers, high power microwaves, rail guns, coil guns, [and] particle beam weapons,” according to a 1999 report. The 2005 Annual Report to Congress on China’s military prowess asserted that China researched “ground-based laser ASAT [anti-satellite] weapons” and recorded that the Defense Intelligence Agency believed “Beijing eventually could develop a laser weapon capable of damaging or destroying satellites.” In 2006, a hullabaloo arose over the supposed blinding of a U.S. space satellite by a Chinese laser. The event was later “clarified” when the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office confirmed that a Chinese laser “illuminated” a U.S. satellite that year.
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