SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 7 (UPI) -- A prototype ground-based laser system by Lockheed Martin burned through two boats from a range of 1 mile during maritime testing off the California coast.
The prototype system is called ADAM, or the Area Defense Anti-Munitions system, and is to demonstrate defense against short-range threats, including Qassam-like rockets, unmanned aerial systems and small boats.
“Our laser weapon initiatives leverage commercial products and processes, focusing on affordability for the user,” said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, Lockheed Martin senior vice president and chief technology officer. “Lockheed Martin continues to invest in advancing fiber laser and beam control technologies, as these successful ADAM tests demonstrate.”
Lockheed said ADAM pairs commercial hardware components with the company’s laser beam control architecture and software. In the maritime testing the ground-based system’s high-energy laser burned through multiple compartments of the rubber hull of the military-grade small boats in less than 30 seconds. Previously the system has countered airborne targets.
The system can precisely track moving targets at a range of more than 3.1 miles, and its 10-kilowatt fiber laser can engage targets up to 1.2 miles away, Lockheed said.