Polar bears now have more than melting ice to worry about. Russian state-owned optical technology company Shvabe Holding has created a ship-mounted laser cannon designed to cut through ice.
“We developed this ship-mounted laser for exploration and development in the Arctic, which has difficult ice conditions where platforms must operate and ships must pass through. This laser works like glass cutters, snipping away at the ice, and then the ship using its own weight can push through,” explained Shvabe Holding CEO Sergey Maksin at the international exhibition Defense Expo.
Currently the laser cannon is being mounted on an icebreaker and tested. The laser can also cut ice heading toward oil and gas platforms in the Arctic seas, making it easer to break the ice up, reported RIA Novosti.
According to Sergey Maksin, if the tests are successful, the lasers can also be placed on lightweight ice-class vessels to help ensure the delivery of products along northern Siberian rivers, where ice is thinner.
The first deliveries of the device can be expected in 2015.