Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated the “ATHENA” laser weapon system capable of shooting down fixed wing and rotary drones, for the USAF.
During the demonstration that was held at a government test range at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) operated in a fully-netted engagement environment with a government command and control (C2) system and radar sensor. The radar track was provided to airmen who operated ATHENA via cues from the C2, then ATHENA’s beam director slewed, acquired, tracked and defeated the drone with a high-energy laser, the company said in a statement Thursday.
ATHENA was operated by USAF personnel during this demonstration, and it was able to destroy multiple drones. The high-energy laser system is transportable and therefore enables the Air Force to emplace it anywhere they need to defend bases and high-value assets.