laser weapons (thing)
Return to laser weapons (thing)
|A weapon that uses a laser to actually damage the target. Current laser weapons research focuses on using chemical lasers to destroy missiles or artillery shells. This is because current generations of lasers are heavy and bulky in the power ranges required.
The THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser), is a ground-based system designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells and other short-range aerial threats. It is being developed in conjunction with Israel.
The ABL (Airborne Laser) is a more ambitious program targeted at short to medium range ballistic missiles. It consists of a multi-megawatt chemical laser called COIL (Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser) mounted in a Boeing 747. The aircraft's nose contains an optical turret to direct the beam. Anticipated range is hundreds of miles, in order to hit ballistic missiles during their boost phase. More information is available from http://www.airbornelaser.com/.