Lockheed Martin’s New Laser Beam Could Stop Car Bombs

Since terrorism seems to continue being a real threat there’s not much left to do than hoping that our governments are working on a way to protect us. It seems this is the message the so-called “defense systems developers” are sending since they are constantly investing millions of dollars in...well, weapons. Lockheed Martin’s new laser beam gun is supposed to be stopping cars without destroying them.
Military Gear Maker Lockheed Martin’s New Laser Beam Will Stop Cars 1 photo
Dubbed ATHENA, which stands for Advanced Test High Energy Asset, the ground-based 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon was recently used to disable the engine of a truck target, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. The engine was disabled, thus making the car to stop, yet avoiding any explosions.

Apart from the obvious defense potential, it also proved the rapidly evolving precision capability to protect military forces and critical infrastructure. The truck was mounted on a test platform with its engine and drive train running to simulate an operationally-relevant test scenario.

“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems. We are investing in every component of the system - form the optics and beam control to the laser itself - to drive size, weight and power efficiencies,” said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer.

The technique is similar to what the Navy is currently testing as an anti-aircraft weapon that is capable of shooting down drones. Called spectral beam combining, multiple fiber laser modules form a single, powerful, high-quality beam that provides greater efficiency and lethality than multiple individual 10-kilowatt laser used in other systems.

Now, whether officers will eventually own this type of weaponry to stop bad guys from bombing a building, that’s hard to tell. But we’re pretty sure we’ll be hearing from these laser beam guns a lot more in the future.


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