Frickin’ Laser Beams

This is a fascinating short advertising video from British Aerospace Engineering Systems (BAE Systems) teasing the potential of laser beam weapons. It addresses the concept of using airborne lasers to create atmospheric lenses by temporarily heating and ionizing the atmosphere to enable long-range aerial surveillance and targeting. The same concept can also be used to counter anti-aircraft laser fire from ground platforms.

BAE Systems has been working on the military applications of lasers for a while, from laser tracking systems, aerial laser-guided rockets, and high energy lasers for shipborne point defense. The U.S. Army is working with General Dynamic to add lasers to its vehicles for point defense as well. Lasers have been used for military purposes for a long time and there is great anticipation for their potential. While the current state of laser technology may have its limitations, the future of warfare may well go pew-pew.

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Shawn Woodford
Shawn Woodford

Shawn Robert Woodford, Ph.D., is a military historian with nearly two decades of research, writing, and analytical experience on operations, strategy, and national security policy. His work has focused on special operations, unconventional and paramilitary warfare, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, naval history, quantitative historical analysis, nineteenth and twentieth century military history, and the history of nuclear weapon development. He has a strong research interest in the relationship between politics and strategy in warfare and the epistemology of wargaming and combat modeling.

All views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of any other private or public organization or entity.

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