US Army Deploys High-Energy Lasers Overseas to Combat Enemy Drones

The U.S. Army has deployed high-energy lasers overseas to combat enemy drones, a significant advancement in the development of directed-energy weapons. The Palletized High Energy Laser (P-HEL) system, based on BlueHalo’s LOCUST Laser Weapon System, has been deployed in an undisclosed location abroad. The Army’s deployment of the P-HEL marks the first publicly acknowledged use of a working laser weapon for air defense outside of experimental testing. The system works by converting electrical power into a stream of photons, capable of destroying drones and other aerial threats.

The deployment reflects the military’s efforts to enhance air defense capabilities against cheap weaponized drones, which pose a significant threat to troops deployed in the Middle East. The use of directed-energy weapons offers a cost-effective solution compared to conventional munitions, with the potential to revolutionize air defense strategies. Additionally, the Army is exploring other directed-energy technologies, such as high-powered microwaves, to address emerging threats like drone swarms. This deployment underscores the military’s commitment to advancing directed-energy weapons as part of its defense arsenal.