Recent reports assert that the US army will be developing offensive and defensive laser weapons to enhance its military capabilities. In fact, the Indirect Fire Protection Capability program has already set out to develop these weapons, and they plan to have them by 2023.
US Army Research and Technology deputy assistant secretary Mary J. Miller outlines the project clearly, saying “The Army’s S&T effort is committed to pursuing high-energy lasers.”
She goes on to note that the project is already well underway, asserting, “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 skeptical. That’s why the army is taking lasers out into operational environments and testing them.”
These weapons aim to help the US forces to counter a host of threats, such as aerial vehicles and missiles.
The US army has also recently revealed its high-energy mobile demonstrator (HEL MD) program. The HEL MD includes a laser and vehicle-mounted beam director. Aside from that, it also has a multi-mode radar, also known as surrogate radar, support.
The US Air Force also has plans to develop an offensive laser that will be fitted to AFSOC AC-130 gunships in collaboration with the Special Operations Command.