Laser Weapons as a New Entity to Small Firearms


Laser weapons have long been the subject of debate. The article discusses the potential adoption of laser weapons by infantry units and the future of small firearms. The text analyses these weapons in selected categories that subsequently support the evaluations and the conclusion. If miniaturisation is successfully managed, the comparison reveals an interesting paradox. While laser weapons and firearms do not rival each other as distinct functionalities, given the right conditions, they can actually complement each other and compensate for any disadvantages within their respective categories. Today's complex battlefield is placing ever greater demands on small arms, pushing conventional weapon mechanisms – combined with ammunition that guarantees accuracy and lower recoil, albeit at the expense of penetration – towards the limits of further possible advancement in technology. Improved passive individual protection restricts the wounding potential of pistol ammunition, reducing it to below 150 m for rifle cartridges, while guided ammunition tends to be prohibitively expensive. Under the right conditions, laser weapons could compensate for any of these drawbacks.

Ladislav KULHÁNEK, born in 1986. Studied history at the University of Pardubice. Takes an interest in military history, from World War II to modern warfare, and specializes in military technology used in Third World countries in particular. Has long been monitoring the situation in the Near and Middle East. Has published numerous articles and illustrations on hand-held firearms since 2013.

Country: Czech Republic


Leave a comment