Henry “Trey” Obering, an executive vice president and directed energy lead at Booz Allen Hamilton, has outlined several measures the Department of Defense should do to expedite the development of lasers and directed energy weapons to achieve military advantage against emerging threats.
Obering wrote in a Defense One article published Wednesday that DoD should increase spending on directed energy weapons to up to $3B per year to improve laser power and beam quality as well as reduce the size, weight, power and cost requirements of such weapons.
He called on the Pentagon to speed up the procurement of directed energy capabilities through the adoption of accelerated processes and show to the industrial base its long-term commitment to lasers and other related platforms.
“DoD should adapt command-and-control functions to address rapidly evolving threats, such as hypersonics, to reduce the engagement times of defensive systems,” he noted.
“Very short engagement timelines will likely necessitate the incorporation of artificial intelligence capabilities to help the U.S. leverage the speed-of-light engagement that directed energy weapons offer,” Obering added.
Obering said DoD should make warfighter training a priority; fund existing maritime, aerial and ground tests of lasers and related weapons; advance research to better understand laser lethality and reliability; and provide tactical decisions aids to warfighters.