According to Popular Mechanics, within the next five years the two laser weapons programs under development by the great folks in the U.S Army will receive a massive, tenfold increase in power output, meaning that the weapons will (soon) be able to literally snipe large aircraft, airships, and missiles out of the sky with a burning energy beam.
God, the glorious flaming carnage!
President Donald Trump’s big league talk about rebuilding the military has been a staple of his policy platform since he announced his candidacy in 2015, and under his watch it appears the development of next-gen military technology (which stalled under the previous administration) has reportedly been put back on the front burner. This is a huge win for fans of a strong national defense and Star Wars weaponry.
From the Popular Mechanics article:
“Laser weapons, a staple of science fiction for almost a hundred years, are finally coming into their own. Lasers can engage targets at the speed of light, burning holes in enemy equipment with pulses of focused energy. A laser weapon can blind pilots, drivers, and sensors; damage airframes to the point where they fall out of the sky; and cause fuel and explosive warheads to ignite by exposing them to insanely high heat.
The technology has made some pretty big strides over the past several years, as solid-state lasers have boosted energy output while reducing the size of the overall package. The Army has focused on two programs: a test-bed vehicle called the High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (the incongruously named HELMTT) that mates a heavy Army truck with a 10-kilowatt commercial laser, and a 5 kilowatt laser installed on a Stryker armored vehicle nicknamed the Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser, or MEHEL. Both are controlled by soldiers looking at an LCD screen, using an Xbox-type controller to zero in on an incoming drone and shoot it down.”
Though US laser technology is already powerful enough to destroy drones, for a while it seemed that the prospect of high powered energy weapons able to burn fighter jets and cruise missiles out of the sky was just a sci-fi pipe dream.
“Now, according to Breaking Defense, the Army plans to increase the power of the HELMTT laser to 50 kilowatts by 2018, a fivefold increase. By 2022, it plans to have a 100-kilowatt laser on an armored vehicle, likely a M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle or another Stryker.”
It’s about time that Old Glory was restored to her rightful place as the vanguard of power and military power across the globe, and under the Trumpenreich this looks to be a major probability.