The U.S Army is now ready to go for much bigger machines and you should forget vehicle-mounted lasers to shoot down drones. The Chief of the U.S Space and Missile Defense Command, Lt. Gen James Dickenson has announced that the United States is manufacturing lasers. The new lasers will be 10 times more powerful as compared to currently testing lasers and it will be between 50kW to 100kW. This amount of wattage has been considered strong enough to take down enemy’s aircraft. It might be used to throw missiles off from their predefined targets by disturbing or destroying their sensors. They will not essentially need huge trucks that are being currently used.
The first test will take place using a 50kW laser in 2018 with an advanced version of the High Energy Laser-Mobile Test Truck (HEL-MTT). The U.S Army officials are expecting to test-fire a 100kW laser with a more powerful platform in the year 2022. The U.S Armed forces then will be able to easily keep laser weapons at their front line to protect their allies against fighter helicopters. Those lasers will just need a line of sight to target an aircraft. There is still a considerable amount of time and 100kW shouldn’t be considered the final solution. It might not be very efficient against head-on missile attacks because the laser will not have much time to hit through the nose of the missile. You will need an array of laser-carrying vehicles in order to finish targets.