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Norway launches laser weapons study

Effects of laser weapons on current platforms
Main Battle Tanks are among the weapon systems that may face threats from laser weapon systems, according to Nammo. Photo: US Marine Corps

The Norwegian defense ministry has announced the launch of a new research program that will aim to determine what kind of impact directed energy weapons, also referred to as “laser weapons”, could have on military operations.

The defense ministry has teamed up with defense contractor and ammunition and missiles specialist Nammo for the undertaking. The program which will be undertaken by Nammo’s Norwegian subsidiary, Nammo Raufoss AS, and the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment.

The NOK 35 million (approx. $3.5m) program is jointly funded by Nammo and the Norwegian defense ministry. The study will evaluate how these weapons could be used, and how to protect both current and future Norwegian armed forces weapon systems and platforms against them.

“Advanced prototypes and the first operational laser weapon systems are in the process of being fielded to military units in several countries. We are also expecting significantly more capable systems to be fielded in the coming years. This means that it is important to study their potential operational impact, as well as how the introduction of laser technology could affect the future of our business,” said Morten Brandtzæg, president and CEO of the Nammo Group.

Nammo will be supporting the project through its lead ammunition researchers. The FFI will provide operational insight, laser technology and weapons expertise, as well as expertise in advanced testing and analysis.