Lockheed Martin has completed a field test of its prototype Advanced Test High Energy Asset laser weapon system in a push to demonstrate precision functions for lasers to counter ground-based targets.
The company said Tuesday ATHENA features the 30-kilowatt, fiber-optic Accelerated Laser Demonstration Initiative technology and is based on the Area Defense Anti-Munitions system.
“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” said Keoki Jackson, chief technology officer at Lockheed.
“We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight and power efficiencies.”
For the field test, Lockheed used ATHENA to disable the engine of a small truck with a laser beam shot from at least a mile away to burn through the engine manifold.