Darpa’s Death Ray set to debut this summer
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the United States (DARPA) has received government approva to start field trials of its death ray laser weapon system known as Hellads.
As explained by the department, the experts “have shown sufficient laser power and beam quality” for this project to go “out of the laboratory.”
For DARPA, the achievement of getting the government’s acceptance to perform field tests marks the end of the development phase of the program and the beginning of a new phase: real world application. The testing of the ray will be held at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The program director, Rich Bagnell, said that “the technical hurdles were daunting, but it is very gratifying to have produced a new type of solid-state lasers with unprecedented power and high beam quality for its size.”
In his view, now the hellads laser is ready to be tested “against some of the toughest threats that face our fighters”.
It is expected that field tests will begin this summer in what has been called an effort between DARPA and the Research Laboratory of the Air Force.
After the field test phase, the goal is to make the system available to the military.
The Hellads program has been developing a solid state laser electrically powered and with a reduced size and weight, improving similar power lasers for tactical use.
The laser was developed by DARPA and executed by General Atomics.