Lockheed Martin Develops Record Setting 60-kW Laser Weapon for US Army
Ron Perillo / 2 years ago
A little over a year after Lockheed Martin unveiled their ATHENA 30-kW mobile laser weapon, the defense company has announced that their latest efforts have almost doubled that to 58-kW last month but are delivering an even more powerful 60-kW to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Alabama.
The 60-kW laser weapon uses spectrum beam combining technology to create the weapons-grade laser that is easily powerful enough to destroy a vehicle over a mile away as demonstrated by the weaker ATHENA laser weapon last year. A 60-kW laser weapon has an even greater destructive capability. For gamers familiar to the classic Real-time-strategy game Red Alert, this new technology paves the way for making the Prism Tanks available in that game a reality which could destroy tanks, buildings and heavy armor vehicles from great distances. Lockheed however, sees the new lasers as eventually leading to protective and defensive system designs for taking down drones, rockets, missiles and mortar fires. Its accuracy and targeting system enables it to target and take on multiple targets at once compared to conventional projectile weapons.
“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, Ph.D., senior fellow for Lockheed’s Laser and Sensor Systems. “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.”