The death ray has materialized from the pages of classic science fiction.
Military contractor Lockheed Martin reportedly delivered a high-energy tactical laser weapon to the U.S. Navy, according to New Atlas.
The new weapon, known as HELIOS, stands for “high energy laser with integrated optical-dazzler and surveillance,” and has been likened to the sci-fi “death ray” idea.
Without deploying a physical bullet, the HELIOS can destroy its target using just highly forced energy.
It will be used to destroy targets and to fend off swift assault boats and unmanned drones. The reflected beam from the directed energy weapon may be used to collect far-reaching data for espionage, surveillance, and reconnaissance. It can also blind optical sensors.
As “a vital piece of a layered defensive architecture,” Lockheed Martin described HELIOS as the first tactical laser weapon system to be fitted into already-built ships.
According to New Atlas, ammo is only limited by available power while firing a HELIOS beam at the speed of light, which costs around a dollar for each shot.
A disruptive laser weapon system is something that Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy “have a shared vision and passion for creating and supplying,” according to Rick Cordaro, vice president of advanced product solutions at the contractor.
“HELIOS improves the ship’s overall combat system efficacy to fend off potential attacks and provide greater protection to sailors, and we recognize we must deliver scalable solutions tailored to the Navy’s requirements,” Cordaro added.
“HELIOS offers a strong platform for the progressive delivery of capable and potent laser weapon system capabilities.”
The American Army is also utilizing lasers.
There will be vehicle-mounted lasers producing 50 kilowatts of power used to destroy hostile drones and destroy rockets, mortars, and artillery. In order to shield smaller infantry units from new dangers, it also intends to deploy a 20-kilowatt laser on an infantry squad truck.