Lockheed Martin Says Laser Weapons Are Ready for Use Today

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 - 5:35PM
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Wednesday, 23 March 2016 - 5:35PM
Lockheed Martin Says Laser Weapons Are Ready for Use Today
Laser weapons like the phasers on Star Trek, as well as similar directed-energy weaponry, such as the Star Wars blaster guns, have long been a staple of science fiction. But now, Lockheed Martin is claiming that the technology exists in real life, and that we could start using them in combat at any time.

The Pentagon, in conjunction with defense companies like Lockheed Martin, has been developing the concept of laser weapons for many years. Giant lasers would be just as effective as the kinetic weapons the department currently relies on, and for a fraction of the cost. Executives at Lockheed Martin report that the actual technology is a reality, and confirmed that they could make a 30 KW weapon today if given the right materials. At 30 KW, a laser weapon could burn a hole through two inches of steel within seconds, shoot down a drone, and disable a truck's engine from over a mile away.
Opening quote
"The technologies now exist," said Paul Shattuck, company director for Directed Energy Systems. "They can be packaged into a size, weight, power and thermal which can be fit onto relevant tactical platforms, whether it's a ship, whether it's a ground vehicle or whether it's an airborne platform.

So everything exists today, it's just a question of the desire and when is that going to occur."
Closing quote

The laser technology itself is available, Lockheed's Daniel Miller confirmed, it's just a matter of integrating it into an actual weapon, whichever platform suits the department's needs.

Opening quote
"The question is moving from, 'Do we have the devices?' to 'How quickly can we integrate them on the platform?'" he said. "The question has changed dramatically on the last decade."
Closing quote

This doesn't necessarily mean that we'll have a laser strong enough to destroy Alderaan anytime soon, as for now, the technology is limited to the 15-30 KW range. But if the weapons are implemented by the Pentagon, they could help in the fight against ISIL, as they could disable the small trucks used by the organization much more efficiently and cheaply.
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