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Multi-domain operations motivate US Army interest in high-power lasers

28th October 2021 - 15:27 GMT | by Flavia Camargos Pereira

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This 300kW weapon will feature GA-EMS’ scalable Distributed Gain Laser Technology and Boeing’s beam director. (Photo: GA-EMS)

As part of its overall modernisation strategy, the US Army is developing a variety of high-energy laser weapons to defeat UAVs, target helicopters and defend against rockets, mortars and artillery fire.

The US Army is keen to accelerate the deployment of high-energy weapons for deployed frontline units and to protect bases, as a key strand of its broader modernisation programme.

In its Directed Energy Strategy, the Army notes that such weapons would significantly contribute to the execution of multi-domain operations and ‘offer a strategic tool in the fight against low-cost threats, such as drones, found on the modern battlefield’.

Against this backdrop, the Army is looking to leverage proven technologies so it can rapidly prototype directed-energy efforts.

In one recent example, it selected General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) and Boeing

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