Lockheed-Martin is working on delivering a world-record-setting laser to the US Army to be used for a myriad of defensive applications.
The 60-kW laser is a huge technological leap for the US military, providing a one-of-a-kind performance from such a compact package that can be mounted on US Army vehicles.
“Delivery of this laser represents an important milestone along the path to fielding a practical laser weapon system,” said Lockheed-Martin Advanced Product Solutions Vice President Paula Hartley. “This milestone could not have been achieved without close partnership between the U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin; we are pleased to be able to deliver this system for their further integration and evaluation.”
To add to the awesomeness, the fiber laser-design is scalable, causing added lasers to be equated to create a more powerful system.
“The inherent scalability of this beam combined laser system has allowed us to build the first 60kW-class fiber laser for the U.S. Army,” said Robert Afzal, senior fellow for Laser and Sensor Systems at Lockheed Martin. “We have shown that a powerful directed energy laser is now sufficiently light-weight, low volume and reliable enough to be deployed on tactical vehicles for defensive applications on land, at sea and in the air.”
According to defense mogul Lockheed-Martin, the fiber laser system (which incorporates fiber optics) is twice as powerful as the ATHENA laser system, which can disable a truck from a mile away. Designers and acquisition specialists see a multitude of uses for the lasers, including shooting down mortars, rockets and even taking our drones without using a multi-million dollar missile.
The US Military has been doing a lot of research into laser systems, with the US Navy already looking into regularly mounting ship-borne lasers on some of their vessels.
The delving into laser weaponry comes at a time when the US’s enemies -from the relatively primitive Islamic State to Russia and China- are developing drone and missile technologies.
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