The US armaments company Lockheed Martin has delivered its most powerful laser to date to the US Army. The US armaments company Lockheed Martin has delivered a new laser cannon for the US military to the US Army. Tests with the new weapon should start shortly.
The laser has an output of 300 kilowatts and is the most powerful that Lockheed Martin has built to date. The high energy makes it possible to engage targets at greater distances and kill them faster, Lockheed Martin's Race McDermott said in a press conference, as reported by the US industry publication National Defense Magazine.
The laser was delivered earlier than planned
The US Department of Defense commissioned the development of the laser in 2019 as part of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (Helsi). According to Lockheed Martin, it was delivered earlier than planned.
According to the manufacturer, the development not only focused on increasing performance, but also on reducing size and weight. This should make it possible to use the laser system in-ground, at sea, and possibly even in aircraft.
The US military has been testing laser weapons for years
The US military has been developing laser weapons for several years: in 2014, a 10-kilowatt fiber laser developed by Lockheed Martin sank a rubber boat from a distance of about 1 mile.
The armaments company recently delivered a laser weapon system to the US Navy. However, this system, which is being fully integrated into the systems of the USS Preble for the first time, has a significantly lower output of 60 kilowatts.
The laser will be integrated into the Department of Defense's demonstration projects, including the US Army's IFPC-HEL (Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser) laser weapon system. The system is to be tested in the laboratory and also in the field this year.