The military is commissioning its most powerful laser weapon to date. Announced October 25, the Army asked for a 300 kiloWatt solid-state laser and has awarded a contract to General Atomics to deliver it.
Formally called the "Distributed Gain High Energy Laser Weapon System," or DGHELWS, the weapon is billed as a protective tool, a kind of defense between soldiers in the field and weapons that mean them harm. By focusing a powerful beam of light steadily on an object, the laser can burn through it, given enough time and enough power.
The 300kw laser can be powered by batteries or a connection to a power grid. The former allows the weapon to be deployed more freely, though the batteries will need to be recharged eventually.
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