Posted on September 25, 2017
Ground-based laser weapon system shoots down FIVE moving targets in five attempts as army hail prototype
Test in New Mexico said the results validated their ‘lethality models’ but vowed to improve the system even further after trialling it in same site where first nuclear weapon was tested.
Star Wars-type laser weapons may be saving the day in the not-too-distant future.
Here is the first glimpse of a new beam being trialled by the American Army to protect troops which shot targets down in quick succession.
ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset) – a prototype laser weapon system – managed to bring down five unmanned moving targets out of five attempts during a test at the Army’s famous White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
This is where the very first nuclear weapon in the world was tested in 1945.
Lockheed Martin is the company working with the Army on ATHENA and its chief technology officer, Keoki Jackson, said: “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.
“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.”
The 30-kilowatt class ATHENA uses advanced beam control technology and a fibre laser.
The system defeated airborne targets in flight by causing loss of control and structural failure, Lockheed Martin reported after the tests.
ATHENA is ground-based and able to be transported.
The company and the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command will now review their tests with the intention of improving the system even further.
Read more about ATHENA and the test on Lockheed Martin’s website .