Editor’s Note: Welcome to the Brave New World, Star Wars style…
Conspiracy theorists and military nerds alike have been talking about the possibility of the US using lasers in combat, and it might be coming. According to reports, the Air Force wants to equip some planes with laser cannons by the first part of the next decade. (Geek boner.)
Last week, DARPA announced it would begin a series of field tests for its High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS). The field tests are expected to replicate using the laser cannon against rockets, mortars, vehicles, and surface-to-air missiles.
“The technical hurdles were daunting, but it is extremely gratifying to have produced a new type of solid-state laser with unprecedented power and beam quality for its size,” Rich Bagnell, DARPA program manager, said in a press release. “The HELLADS laser is now ready to be put to the test on the range against some of the toughest tactical threats our warfighters face.”
The DARPA trials are only ground-based for now, but if they are successful – the technology will be turned over to the Air Force and other branches “for further refinement, testing, or transition to operational use.”
(read more at Red Orbit)
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