Rolls-Royce is making a hard pivot to the death ray industry, according to Defense News: The company just unveiled a new hybrid power source intended to continuously power 100-kilowatt laser weapons.
The power system combines a battery — that could instantly fire the laser without needing to charge up — with a helicopter engine that can take over the battery once it revs up, recharging it in the process. The system could be part of a shift in the face of warfare from bullets and missiles to beams of lethal energy.
The power source can be used in one of two ways — it can be built to fit on a jet, helicopter, or other vehicle. Or, if the military is less concerned about space, a bulkier version of the hybrid power source could fire a laser for a longer period of time.
“Our idea here is we want to package it in a size that can fit along with the laser system onto a vehicle, a type of a truck or eventually a ship or even eventually airborne,” Mark Wilson, COO of Rolls-Royce’s advanced tech research division, told Defense News. “So the focus of our research is on developing that kind of capability that can go on an actual platform.”
Editor’s note 5/21: This article originally misidentified Rolls-Royce’s industry.
READ MORE: Rolls-Royce unveils hybrid power system for laser weapons [Defense News]
More on laser weapons: The UK’s New “Dragonfire” Laser Weapon Is Weirdly Steampunk