The Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) is no joke.
By Eric Limer
After years of testing, laser weapons are starting to make their way into the U.S. military, on armoured vehicles, helicopters, and boats. The appeal is obvious—lasers are invisible, silent, and most importantly incredibly cheap to fire. They’re a clear choice for jobs like taking down drones, so long as they’re strong enough to get the job done.
And if you had any doubt, just watch the test video of the 30-kilowatt Advanced Test High Energy Asset or ATHENA from Lockheed Martin, above.
The footage is from a test in New Mexico last month, where ATHENA took out 5 unmanned drones during target practice. And if somehow that doesn’t impress you, just look at what it can do to the hood of a truck.
Lockheed has been saying its laser is ready for deployment since early last year, but so far it hasn’t been strapped to any actual military equipment. Maybe this demo will change that.