BETHESDA, Md., March 4 (UPI) -- A 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system from Lockheed Martin successfully disabled a vehicle engine from a distance of more than one mile.
In the test -- said to represent the highest power ever documented by a laser weapon of its type -- the beam from the Advanced Test High Energy Asset, or ATHENA, quickly burned through the engine manifold of a truck mounted and running on a test platform, Lockheed Martin said.
"Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems," said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer. "We are investing in every component of the system -- from the optics and beam control to the laser itself -- to drive size, weight and power efficiencies.
"This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks."
The single-mode fiber laser weapon system prototype uses a technique called spectral beam combining -- multiple fiber laser modules form a single, powerful, high-quality beam.
Lockheed Martin said ATHENA is based on its Area Defense Anti-Munitions laser weapon system , which was developed by Lockheed Martin and successfully demonstrated against small airborne and sea-based targets.