In a recent video, Lockhead Martin test-fired a high energy laser, destroying a Qassam-style rocket at a range of 1.5km (.9 miles).
Lockheed’s new laser technology is named the Area Defense Anti-Munitions, showing all the hallmarks of having come up with the acronym first. But while its grammar may be lacking, its firepower most certainly isn’t – the ADAM is a new laser system designed to defend frontline military assets from enemy missiles.
According to Lockheed’s website, the ADAM is “designed to track targets at a range of more than 5 kilometers and to destroy targets at a range of up to 2 kilometers.” As a self-contained weapon, the ADAM uses external radar signals to detect incoming rockets. Once it knows where they are, it takes only a few seconds to lock on and blow them out of the sky with its laser.
As you can see in the slow motion portion of the video, rather than simply trying to vaporize the rocket with sheer power, the ADAM takes a more surgical approach, slicing through the rocket’s tip like a ginsu knife and severing the warhead from its engine, which inevitably
results in the rocket exploding. While this tactic may work on unsophisticated rockets like the Qassam, It has yet to be proven against more complex systems.
Regardless, the ADAM is the latest in a trend from the US military and the defense corporations that supply it, bringing to reality a truth sci-fi fans have known for decades: lasers are the best thing ever. The ADAM isn’t even the first laser defense system we’ve seen this month – it’s the second – and we’re sure that even more advanced laser weapons will make their debut in the years to come.
Watch a Video of an Earlier Laser Test:
Images and Video Courtesy of Lockheed Martin