Lockheed Martin Gets More Lethal This October, Introduces High Power Lasers for U.S. Army
BESTHESDA, MD: Lockheed Martin will be stacking up U.S. Army’s arsenal with its newly developed modular high power lasers by October. This laser system can be subjected to various types of military needs depending on relevant threat parameters. The portable laser can be operated by a single user and is specifically developed to counter attack against drones, rockets and mortars.
On the technical side, this laser is based on Spectrum Beam, which uses fiber laser modules, that is used with an active gain medium consisting of an optical fiber doped with a rare earth element such as erbium, ytterbium or neodymium. The application of optical fiber provides extra flexibility hence the lasers get a longer range when active and can be coiled like a rope when inactive. The high surface-to-volume ratio helps in faster cooling; and also scores higher on being energy efficient compared to similar solid-state laser.
Lockheed had started testing with its Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) laser weaponry when pictures of it disabling a truck surfaced in public, which was a single mode fiber 30kW weapon. Now with the new entry, multiple fiber modules can be combined for generating an intense laser beam, the power can be potentially increased up to 120kW. Lockheed plans to mount these lasers on Combat ships, AC-130 gunships, F-15 fighters and perhaps even on F-35.