WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin has used a laser weapon system to engage and shoot down multiple fixed-wing and rotary drones in a demonstration for the U.S. Air Force at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the company announced Thursday.
The Advanced Test High Energy Asset, or ATHENA, operated in a netted environment with a government command-and-control system and radar sensor.
Lockheed said airmen operated ATHENA during the demos, where the laser weapon system acquired and tracked drones, using its high-energy laser to destroy the targets.
The company developed ATHENA to provide a cost-effective anti-drone capability that complements the systems already used by the military.
“We’ve watched in recent news this type of laser weapon solution is essential for deterring unmanned vehicle type threats, so it’s an exciting time for us to watch airmen compete Lockheed Martin’s critical technology,” said Sarah Reeves, vice president of missile defense programs at Lockheed.
Jaleah Dortch, a senior majoring in English at Gallaudet University, is a reporting intern for Defense News.