Drone technology has been adopted the world over. Military outfits of all kinds have enlisted drones into their arsenal in one way or another. From the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world down to a small rebel faction, drones have been manufactured and/or modified to carry out military operations in one capacity or another for some time now.

Drone technology gives the American alliance an advantage that is unmatched on the battlefield however, enemies of the United States and allies have begun to modify drones that are available on the free market; a variable that must be met with a reliable deterrent.

These small drones serve as a very cheap delivery system for munitions that can cause severe damage on the battlefield. Traditional anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems are capable of shooting these drones down however, the cost-exchange ratio of utilizing such deterrents is financially depleting when your enemy can deploy hundreds in moments. This is when the United States military turns to an organization such as Raytheon.

Raytheon has developed a more cost-effective and combat-effective answer for combatting drone technology; lasers. The development of high-energy lasers brings with it a unique feature not yet experienced on the battlefield, limitless ammunition. As long as there is a power source the high-energy laser system will fire.

The leading physicist on Raytheon’s high-energy laser product line, Ben Allison, had stated the following regarding the efficiency of their latest development:

“They’re very, very cheap per shot. We’re talking pennies. High-energy lasers seem to provide the promise of being the most utilitarian solutions, at the most efficient cost, with minimization of collateral effects.”

In June of this year, Raytheon successfully flight tested a high-energy laser system on board an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Through the utilization of Raytheon’s Multispectral Targeting system, the Apache attack helicopter was able to acquire, track, and focus the beam on its intended target. Within seconds of the beam being focused on the target it was reduced to a smoldering tailspin.

The successful test flight of a high-energy laser system on board a helicopter was the first of its kind and is truly a momentous occasion. As many other nations are enjoying the idea of this technology in American made sci-fi movies, the United States Military in conjunction with Raytheon has brought it to reality. What was once thought to be the fodder of science fiction films is now inching closer to becoming a major component of the American military arsenal.