US Military has started work upon laser weapons deployment

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WASHINGTON: General Atomics, whose MQ-1 Predator changed the world, is to start testing another potentially revolutionary weapon next month: a 150-kilowatt class laser. Several other companies are developing laser weapons and “we’re looking at all of them,” said Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, in an interview with Breaking Defense. “The technology is ripe for application on an AC-130.” General Atomics hopes to see AFSOC install a version of the weapon on the AC-130 gunship in the next few years. They also envision equipping the company’s new jet-powered Predator C Avenger drone with a laser derived from their High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS). The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will run the live-fire tests at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The HELLADS beam will be fired at a wide variety of airborne targets over the next 18 months. It produces its silent, invisible, but blow torch-hot beam by pumping electricity through rare earth minerals to excite their electrons and generate energy.(Breaking Defence)

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