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Laser Weapon System by Lockheed Martin Burns Up Target a Mile Away

Image: Laser Weapon System by Lockheed Martin Burns Up Target a Mile Away
In a field test, a laser weapon system developed by Lockheed Martin burned up the engine of a small truck from more than a mile away.

By    |   Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 07:21 PM

A new laser weapon system developed by Lockheed Martin can burn up a vehicle’s engine from more than a mile away.

The 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system, called ATHENA for Advanced Test High Energy Asset, “successfully disabled the engine of a small truck during a recent field test, demonstrating the rapidly evolving precision capability to protect military forces and critical infrastructure,” a Lockheed Martin news release said Tuesday.

By “successfully disabled,” the company meant the laser burned through the engine manifold in seconds from more than a mile away.

"Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems," Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer, said in the release. “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. This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”

The ATHENA system is based on the Area Defense Anti-Munitions laser weapons system (ADAM). The Daily Mail reported that tests have shown ADAM can track moving targets at more than 3.1 miles away.

“Our Adam system tests have shown that high-energy lasers are ready to begin addressing critical defense needs,” Tory Bruno, president of Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., told the Mail.

Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that the United Kingdom has been looking at laser weapon systems and their usefulness.

The country’s Minister of Defense announced this week that it would build and demonstrate a high power laser-directed weapon prototype, the Weekly said. The project is called the Laser Directed Energy Weapon Capability.

In the announcement, the laboratory said the demonstrator will “enhance the U.K.'s understanding of the capability of laser-based weapon system, as well as assisting in the prediction of the anticipated system performance."

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A new laser weapon system developed by Lockheed Martin can burn up a vehicle's engine from more than a mile away.
laser, weapon, system, lockheed martin
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2015-21-05
Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 07:21 PM
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