The likelihood of laser weapons on the battlefield has increased significantly since Boeing unveiled its Thin Disk Laser laser system last week. In tests carried out, it has shown unexpectedly high levels of power and efficiency. During a demonstration for the US Department of Defense, the laser power was 30% higher than stated, while the beam spread was, on the contrary, lower. As a result, this can lead to the use of the laser in practice in the form of tactical weapons.
The new system uses a thin laser disc, Boeing explains. This type of solid-state laser was first developed in the 90s of the last century. The latest version of the laser has a power of over 30 kW. As Program Manager and Vice President of Boeing Directed Energy Systems, Michael Wrynn said:
“This demonstration proved the practical military utility of laser systems. In order to be truly viable as a weapon, lasers must have high brightness while maintaining high power. Our team has shown that we have the required power, the quality of the laser beam, as well as its efficiency, which allows us to use this system in military operations. "