The U.S. military is preparing to employ a new class of weapons.
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The future of warfare has arrived: airplane-mounted laser weapons. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that the 150-kilowatt lasers would be 10 times smaller and lighter than existing lasers that fire comparably powerful beamsâ€“ small and light enough to be mounted on fighter jets.
The main purpose of the laser weapons, part of DARPA’s High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System, would be defensive: to knock out surface-to-air-missiles, rockets, and other weapons that threaten aircraft as the fly over hostile territory. But the weapons could also be used as a sort of offensive precision tool, disabling power stations or weapons deposits with fewer civilian casualties.