Watch as Lockheed Martin Tests New Laser Weapons Against Drone 'Enemies'

Lockheed Martin has developed a laser weapon system capable of destroying enemy drones. The invisible laser may be the future of weaponry.
Jessica Miley

Laser weapons sound like something that only exists in a sci-fi novel. But it's 2017, so of course they are real. (Very real in fact.) In this video from You can watch Lockheed Martin's Advanced Test High Energy Asset (aka ATHENA) shoot down five drones. The invisible laser beam is fired at enemy drones to disable them before they crash.

This video demonstrates ATHENA against five test targets. Let’s just say there are no drone survivors. The tests were done at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico by the testing team from Lockheed Martin.

The weapons manufacturers website said “Our technology today is ready to defend against small rockets, artillery shells and mortars, small unmanned aerial vehicles, small attack boats and lightweight ground vehicles that are approximately a mile away. As fiber laser power levels increase, our systems will be able to disable larger threats and do so across greater distances. When operated in conjunction with kinetic energy systems, these systems can serve as a force multiplier.”

The future of combat might look rapidly different if bullets are replaced with invisible laser beams. Science reality has caught up with science fiction. Lockheed Martin is showing that laser weapon systems can turn up the heat and stop land, air or sea targets in their path. And, they can be compact enough and power efficient enough for tactical platforms on the move, providing nearly unlimited “bullets” with speed-of-light response.


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