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ATHENA laser testbed system successfully shoots down drones
by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) Sep 20, 2017


Lockheed Martin has successfully used a 30 kilowatt laser to bring down drones during tests in August, the company announced on Wednesday.

During test operations with the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, a ATHENA laser system brought down five Outlaw unmanned aerial vehicles at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

"The tests at White Sands against aerial targets validated our lethality models and replicated the results we've seen against static targets at our own test range," Lockheed Martin's Chief Technology Officer Keoki Jackson said in a press release.

"As we mature the technology behind laser weapon systems, we're making the entire system more effective and moving closer to a laser weapon that will provide greater protection to our warfighters by taking on more sophisticated threats from a longer range," Jackson said.

ATHENA is a ground-transportable fiber laser that is currently being used as a test-bed for future technology. It is part of Lockheed's Accelerated Laser Demonstration Initiative for developing higher powered lasers for battlefield use.

The U.S. Department of Defense has invested heavily in laser technology for precision targeting of enemy indirect fire, improvised explosive devices, drones, missiles and aircraft. Lasers, alongside other high-tech weapon systems like railguns, are expected to be the next stage in warfare.

RAY GUNS
DOD to invest $17M on laser weapons research in New Mexico
Washington (UPI) Aug 24, 2017
The Department of Defense is investing $17 million in directed energy laser weapons, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., announced at the Boeing facility in Albuquerque, N.M., on Wednesday. "With our state's unique expertise in directed energy work, this funding will jump start the deployment of this critical technology and bring more high-paying jobs to the state," said Heinrich, a member of ... read more

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