By 2023, the US Army could be using laser weapons in future wars.
Mary Miller, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, said the army wants to understand the lasers’ full capabilities “before we offer it to a Soldier”.
“Lasers have been promised for a long time, but they’ve never held up and delivered what was asked for, so the operators are rightfully sceptical,” she pointed out.
The army is testing the lasers against all possible threats, said Miller: “We have to make sure the lasers work and do the full set of scopes against the threats we project. And those threats include the counter-rockets, counter-artillery and counter-mortar as well as [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] and cruise missile threats.”
The new technology was described as part of the “third offset strategy”, explained as the effort to dominate the battlefield of the future with “asymmetric advantages” – including unmanned and autonomous systems and cognitive warfare.