Silent, invisible, deadly. The powerful ATHENA laser weapon can destroy enemy threats within seconds. It just destroyed five Outlaw drones. For the United States, thanks to pioneering efforts of American companies like Lockheed Martin and the military, laser weapons are no longer the stuff of Star Wars and Star Trek. In near-term future battles, the U.S. military can choose to bring laser weapons mounted on vehicles, vessels, and more, to war. By comparison, the weapons of any enemy will look like bows and arrows.

ATHENA, (Advanced Test High Energy Asset), is one of the most exciting of these new American laser weapons. During recent testing with the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the 30-kilowatt weapon slayed five Outlaw drones. Not toy hobby sized drones, but drones with nearly 11 foot wingspans. READ MORE