The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:
21 Nov. 2018 -- “You’re going to see, in upcoming budgets for missile defense, a renewed emphasis on laser scaling [meaning scaling up the power of laser weapons] across several technologies,” says Michael Griffin, defense undersecretary for research and engineering.
“In my opinion, we are no more than a few years away from having laser weapons of military utility,” Griffin says. “In units of ones or twos, we can roll out tens of kilowatts. That is within a factor of two or three of being useful on a battlefield, airplane or ship” to take out enemy drone swarms, Griffin says. A space-based weapon that could destroy boost-phase missiles would require power in the megawatt class.
One big question remains: whether missile-defense satellites will make it into the Missile Defense Review, the Trump administration’s plan for next-generation missiles and missile defense. “It will be shared when the administration is ready to share it,” Griffin says.
John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics
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