After many years of speculation as to weather the use of Directed Energy Weapons in war would be unleashed upon the world, we now have our answer.
Nearly 4 years ago, I wrote an article entitled, “Lasers and Electronic Warfare To Be Used in New World of Drones and Anti-Drones,” wherein I detailed the trend of shifting the spectrum toward the use of these new weapons. Now, over just the last few weeks we have seen multiple announcements from the military that they are, in fact, rolling out these programs.
The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin were the first to announce a system called HELIOS (High-Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-Dazzler with Surveillance).
If swarms of enemy small attack boats armed with guns and explosives approached a Navy ship, alongside missile-armed drones and helicopters closing into strike range, ship commanders would instantly begin weighing defensive options – to include interceptor missiles, electronic warfare, deck-mounted guns or area weapons such as Close-in-Weapons System.
Now, attacks such as these will also be countered with laser weapons being added to the equation, bringing new dimensions to maritime warfare on the open sea.
By 2021, U.S. Navy destroyers will be armed with new ship-fired lasers able to sense and incinerate enemy drones, low-flying aircraft and small boat attacks — all while firing at the speed of light.
As you can see, much of the focus is centered around countering drone attacks. The new announcement from the U.S. Air Force also focuses primarily on this threat, both from the cheap and readily available quadcopter drones that can be modified, to much more advanced A.I. drone swarms. Their new contract has awarded $23 million to another mega defense contractor, Raytheon, according to MSN:
The 10-kilowatt lasers are to be mounted on small ground-based vehicles and aimed using an interface similar to a video game controller. The prototype laser weapons were built by Raytheon and incorporate a range of components from the commercial technology industry, including high-performance lithium-ion batteries,