Nearly 4 years ago, I wrote an article entitled, “Lasers and Electronic Warfare To Be Used in New World of Drones and Anti-Drones,” wherein I detailed the trend toward using directed energy weapons in warfare. Unfortunately, it appears that much of the speculation at that time about whether or not this was merely the military-industrial complex looking to fund more boondoggle projects that would never see the light of day actually has become reality.
If swarms of enemy small attack boats armed with guns and explosives approached a Navy ship, alongside missile-armed drones and helicopters closing into strike range, ship commanders would instantly begin weighing defensive options – to include interceptor missiles, electronic warfare, deck-mounted guns or area weapons such as Close-in-Weapons System.
Now, attacks such as these will also be countered with laser weapons being added to the equation, bringing new dimensions to maritime warfare on the open sea.
By 2021, U.S. Navy destroyers will be armed with new ship-fired lasers able to sense and incinerate enemy drones, low-flying aircraft and small boat attacks — all while firing at the speed of light.
The system is called HELIOS (High-Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-Dazzler with Surveillance,) which appears to be a similar system to that of another one that I covered in that previous article from German company, Rheinmetall Defense Electronics, simply called HEL (High-Energy Laser), which they referred to as “HEL on wheels.”
As nation after nation becomes wired for war and neutralizes then surpasses each other, new methods must be developed to maintain military supremacy. This is the nature of military conflict and one of the prime reasons why the world seems to have new security threats each and every day. It becomes one endless problem-reaction-solution loop that only serves to benefit those who are invested in each of the three components.
Now that lasers are being applied to ships, we should be seeing further rollout across the military. Here is a video from all the way back in 2012 which showed where we are probably heading. If this is what is being shown to the public, one can only imagine what is really being planned for the future of warfare.