Star Wars is one step closer. Defense Research Projects Agency DARPA has successfully completed the first test trials of laser weapons that will be installed on fighters to destroy enemy drones.
The system, developed by order of DARPA by General Atomics, is called HELLADS. It is a 150-kilowatt laser cannon, which is 10 times smaller in size than its predecessors. This allows it to be installed on tactical aircraft to perform various combat missions.
During the tests, the laser demonstrated its built-in power and high beam quality, which creates conditions for the transition to a new series of field tests.
According to the representative of DARPA Rich Bagnell, the developers of the laser system have managed to overcome many obstacles and create a compact solid-state laser of high power. The next stage in the development of the HELLADS project will be a more compact semiconductor laser of the same power.
As the system improves, it can be used not only against drones, but also to destroy ground targets.