A new laser weapon technology was tested to attack a small truck , killing its motor, in a presentation of the most recent military weapon against targeted ground vehicles. The laser was shot from a few miles away yet it has hit its target – the truck’s motor – with incredible accuracy and without damaging the whole truck. The laser made only a little hole rather than the common big mess prompted by bombs and explosives.
Nobody was harmed in the impact since it was only a trial of how strong is the Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) laser weapon technology by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin, the defense and security innovation company, boasted the demonstration was the most noteworthy power ever reported by this sort of laser weapon.
ATHENA employs a 30-kilowatt fiber laser technology that accurately blazed into the truck’s motor only a couple of seconds after being shot from a distance.
Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin’s chief innovation officer, reported in a statement:
“Fiber-optics lasers are revolutionizing direct energy systems. We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight, and power efficiencies.”
Jackson included that the following step would be to give lightweight laser weapon technologies to military, airship, helicopter, ships and trucks. Lockheed Martin is not the sole developer of laser systems for weapons.
The US Office of Naval Research, for example is working on a laser weapon that can fire down flying drones. The laser technology will be used to shield the US Marines from enemies who will be employing the airborne drones as a part of an assault.
GBAD – Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move – is a laser weapon developed to be installed on the Marines’ Humvees, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and other strategic ground vehicles.
Returning to ATHENA, while normal laser pointer has a beam of 1 milliwatt, ATHENA shows a beam 30 million times more powerful. The system is also cost- efficient. Online magazine Engadget reported that the expense of shooting one surface-to-air rocket is about $400,000. The trial laser costs around 59 cents every shot.
ATHENA utilizes spectral beam joining, which Lockheed Martin says is more effective and lethal than the numerous10-kilowatt lasers that are operated by different systems.Three 10-kilowatt lasers were joint together to make the ATHENA 30-kilowatt ray.
ATHENA could be a valuable technology for the military thanks to its capacity to stop ground-based enemies way before they come near forefront operations.
Image Source: The Mirror