Robert Work

WASHINGTON: This time last year, top Pentagon officials were very publicly touting the Pentagon’s new Third Offset Strategy. Then offset went into stealth mode as people went behind closed doors to wrestle with what it would actually be. So, I asked Deputy Secretary Bob Work yesterday, what’s up with offset? Work’s response made clear the concept… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

AUSA: “There’s never been that much power on a vehicle this small,” said Jeff Wood, showing off Northrop Grumman’s new Hellhound scout car. In fact, he told reporters, standing amidst the buzzing chaos of the exhibit space at Washington’s biggest defense conference, “I can power this entire hall with this vehicle.” In a disaster scenario, he… Keep reading →

A target truck disabled by Lockheed's ATHENA laser

CRYSTAL CITY: The world’s largest defense company is taking a big step towards battlefield laser weapons. In a few weeks, Lockheed Martin will start production of high-efficiency fiber-optic modules that can be wired together into a wide variety of different weapons. Production will start with a prototype 60-kilowatt rocket-killer for the Army, they said, but… Keep reading →

US Army photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: The Army is entering a new Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) for a laser weapon with defense titan Lockheed Martin, the head of Space & Missile Defense Command said today. The service’s ultimate goal is lasers light, compact, and capable enough to protect advancing troops. The Lockheed agreement, not yet formally announced, will lead… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: After 14 years of guerrilla war, the Army has underinvested in defeating high-end threats, the service’s acquisition chief said today. That puts a premium on modernizing missile defense despite tight budgets, from upgrades to the venerable Patriot to new offensive missiles to revolutionary technologies like lasers. “We need to enable ourselves to operate… Keep reading →

A laser experiment at the Air Force Research Laboratory

TYSON’S CORNER: All branches of the military really want laser weapons. But they don’t all want them for the same missions. What struck me after a recent conference here was how differently the US Air Force is approaching lasers. The USAF is pursing a two-pronged approach: They want to mount lasers on both the large… Keep reading →

US Navy photo

TYSON’S CORNER: New laser technology looks promising as a way to shoot down Chinese-style massed missiles. But laser projects have overpromised and underdelivered for decades, from Reagan’s Star Wars in the eighties to the Airborne Laser, canceled in 2011. Now proponents must convince the skeptics — particularly in Congress — that this time is different. “Right… Keep reading →

Army photo

CAPITOL HILL: America’s missile defense strategy is “not sustainable,” the deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency said today. We can’t keep buying multi-million-dollar interceptors to shoot down adversaries’ ever-growing arsenals of much cheaper offensive missiles, said Brig. Gen. Kenneth Todorov. We have to find a better way, Todorov said: lasers, jammers, something. That means… Keep reading →

Air Force artwork of a future dogfight with lasers.

PENTAGON: Star Wars fans, calm down. The US Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from a small plane. And not just any airplane, Air Force Research Laboratory officials. The last laser on an airplane — the megawatt Airborne Laser, which filled a converted 747 and cancelled in 2011 — the 2022 demonstration will be… Keep reading →

Experimental Navy laser

WASHINGTON: How do you stop 1,000 missiles? Current missile defenses can’t. They’re designed to stop a small attack from a rogue state. But even rogue states like North Korea — let alone power players like China’s Second Artillery — can now throw more missiles at us than we have interceptors to shoot them down. That’s why the military, industry,… Keep reading →

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