Laser weapons were once confined to science fiction movies, comic books and video games, but thanks to the efforts of military weapon juggernaut Lockheed Martin, they're now a reality.
The Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) prototype laser weapon was tested by being fired at a small truck mounted on a test platform. The laser beam successfully disabled the truck's engine and drive train in a matter of seconds. The weapon uses the Accelerated Laser Demonstration Initiative (ALADIN) fiber laser technology.
The laser has 30 KiloWatts of electrical power. Lockheed Martin says they are technologically capable of building a 500-KiloWatt laser, but don't do so due to the associated economic limits.
As the world's armies and military units bid to outdo each other in the numerous wars taking place around the world, this laser weapon represents a huge advantage