Air Force tests ATHENA laser weapon against multiple drones

SpaceDaily.com reports: “Members of the U.S. Air Force used the Advanced Test High Energy Asset, referred to as ATHENA, to shoot down a variety of drones in a Lockheed Martin demonstration of the technology.

In the latest test of the ground-portable laser weapon system, Airmen engaged and shot down multiple fixed wing and rotary drones at a government test range in Fort Sill, Okla., Lockheed said on Thursday.

‘We’ve watched in recent news as this type of laser weapon solution is essential for deterring unmanned vehicle type threats, so it’s an exciting time for us to watch Airmen compete Lockheed Martin’s critical technology,’ Sarah Reeves, vice president of missile defense programs at Lockheed, said in a statement.

For the test, Airmen used a government command and control system and radar system to track the drones in engagements representative of those being dealt with by the U.S. military. They then used ATHENA’s high-energy laser to slew, acquire, track and defeat the unmanned aircraft…”

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