The L2, officially designated the Infantry Laser Weapon (ILaW) and uncommonly referred to as the Valentin-Sanford, is the Lunar standard-issue infantry rifle, finding service in a wide variety of roles and having since its introduction become a recognizable icon of the Lunar military for its peculiar appearance.
Development of what would become the ILaW was started in 2095. The "Valentin-Sanford Experimental" was one of two laser-based solutions submitted in response to a 2092 Lunar Espatier Corps specification for a more lethal and versatile infantry weapon, and after a lengthy evaluation process was chosen over its ballistics-based competitors.
The ILaW operates at a wavelength of 360 nanometers, inside the Ultraviolet-A band, close to visible violet light.
Power is provided by a recharable battery magazine with a 200 kilojoule capacity. A power cable can also be connected.
A laser emitter is centered inside the weapon's "barrel", firing through a hole in a primary mirror 79mm in diameter. A secondary mirror reflects the beam onto the primary mirror, where it is focused, before exiting the aperture at the front of the weapon.
A high-precision mechanism slides the mirrors backwards and forwards to change the weapon's focal length.
This assembly is housed behind a quartz glass window, the function of which is to protect it from possible contamination.
An iris, which snaps open shortly before firing, in turn shields the window.
A internal capacitor array with a capacity of 12 kilojoules is housed immediately aft of the "barrel".
Each 'shot' of the weapon is actually a very rapid series of pulses (with intervals measured in miliseconds) in order to allow vaporized material to dissipate and prevent it from shielding the target.
The ILaW is able to fire shots at two different energies:
- A 4 kilojoule "intermediate" mode, roughly similar to intermediate-caliber ballistic rifles in energy, and;
- A 10 kilojoule "high power" mode, intended against more heavily armoured targets, comparable to cartridges such as .460 Weatherby Magnum.
A 200 kilojoule magazine will provide 50 shots at intermediate power and 20 at high power.
Additionally, the weapon has four separate firing modes:
- Hyperburst, which fires three shots at 2,500 rpm, only available at intermediate power due to capacitor limitations;
- Automatic, which fires continuously at 750 rpm, likewise only available at intermediate power.
The LK11 Integrated Laser Sighting System (ILSS) was developed alongside the L2 and incorporates the optics necessary for a laser weapon to perform optimally:
- A daylight, FLIR, and NV aiming camera;
- A laser rangefinder, used to focus the weapon, and;
- A spectrogram, used to analyse the target material and adjust the weapon's duty cycle accordingly.
The ILSS connects to the weapon via an external fibre-optic cable.