n December, the U.S. Army successfully tested a vehicle-mounted laser
, destroying more than 90 mortar rounds and several unmanned aerial drones.
And an Army official tells Yahoo News that the test could have broad implications for the future, giving the U.S. an edge in low-cost and high-functioning defense technology.
“Although the laser can only engage one target at a time, we can lock-in multiple strikes,” Terry Bauer, Program manager, Army High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), told Yahoo News during a phone interview.
“The number of available shots is extremely high compared to a conventional system,” Bauer said. “Whatever we aim at is what we hit.”
Back in 2011, the Army first conducted tests using low power, 300 watt lasers. But the most recent test used a significantly more powerful 10-kilowatt laser powered by batteries and diesel fuel. Although the "High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator" may not sound that intimidating, it was essentially perfect during its test, knocking out dozens of airborne targets.