Thanks to Lockheed Martin, the US Army now has a new toy for blowing up drones, rockets, and other highly maneuverable and evasive nuisances. The laser weapon is rated at 58kW, which seems like a practical amount of power, as 10kW alone would be enough to shoot a mortar out of the sky. Sadly, the laser beams will not be visible, contrary to illustrations.
The combined fiber laser uses multiple individual lasers that are focused together into a single beam. It’s a big device, but it should be able to fit onto an armored truck. The Navy has previously deployed a laser with about half the power on a ship in the Persian Gulf. That weapon requires a big battery and wouldn’t be viable in an on-the-ground mobile situation. Lockheed’s design is both lighter and more powerful than anything in use. It still isn’t small enough to make a handheld blaster and it wouldn’t be used for targeting individual people. The goal is to combat small aircraft, drones, and rockets.