In just seven short years, the U.S. Army could be employing killer technology that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. A team is now working on building laser units for lab tests.

The House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities has been informed that laser weapon technology is ‘very close.’ According to Mary J. Miller, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, the Army is currently developing the laser weapons and plans to test them before putting it into the hands of soldiers.

“It’s being done in a step-wise demonstration of capability,” said Miller. “We have to make sure the lasers work and do the full set of scopes against the threats we project. And those threats include the counter-rockets, counter-artillery and counter-mortar as well as [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] and cruise missile threats.”

Before putting the weapons in the field the army wants to test and understand the lasers’ full capabilities. The Army has long been working on laser weapons, but past attempts have been unsuccessful. Military spokespersons now claim that they’re on the verge of some breakthroughs.

According to Dr. David Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering, the U.S. Air Force is already working on developing a defensive labor to fit on gunships. They’ve been flying and testing prototype weapons.

The new technology would be a game-changer for the military, and for the way wars are fought. One benefit for the military would be unlimited ammunition. Another benefit would be more advanced targeting systems and lower collateral damage probability.

Not all technology is offensive. Defensive laser shields are also in the works. A U.S. warplane could soon be protected by a sort of ‘laser bubble.’

The Air Force system, known as High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), is ready to be tested ‘against some of the toughest tactical threats our warfighters face,’ says Rich Bagnell, project program manager.

The military will soon begin testing laser weapons.

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