When I was a little kid, I was obsessed with laser guns – they always seemed much cooler to me than their real-world, kind of depressing bullet-firing counterparts, and anything from Star Wars was automatically cool anyway. So my childhood self is pretty pleased with the recent news that Lockheed Martin has successfully disabled a truck with a laser weapon called ATHENA from a mile off.
Unfortunately for my childhood self, there doesn’t appear to be any video of Lockheed Martin’s recent laser weapon test. But the company did release the photo above from the test, along with an accompanying statement, excerpted below:
Known as ATHENA, for Advanced Test High Energy Asset, the ground-based prototype system burned through the engine manifold in a matter of seconds from more than a mile away. The truck was mounted on a test platform with its engine and drive train running to simulate an operationally-relevant test scenario.
The implication of disabling a truck engine with the ATHENA laser weapon is that it could represent a less-lethal form of defense of warfare in the future, which makes this a cool story even for die-hard pacifists. To read the entire press release, head over to the official Lockheed Martin site here.