THE US military is investing in “directed energy” (DE) technologies that may one day be used to turn beams of high-powered energy into a force field to destroy enemy nukes and missiles.
In a new report released by the Air Force Research Laboratory on Tuesday, DE is described as a “focused beam of electromagnetic energy” that’s used to “enable or create military effects … including kinetic weapons.”
Such kinetic weapons can include lasers, radiofrequency devices, high-power microwaves, and particle beams – all of which could be used to “deny, degrade, ダメージ, destroy or deceive.”
One notable prediction made in the report is that DE could be used to develop a “force field” that would essentially serve as a “missile defense umbrella.”
The force field, 報告によると, would be created by trucks or satellites equipped with lasers, which could be used to form a dome-like barrier over the entire country.
‘A TIPPING POINT’
Any missile or aircraft attempting to penetrate the forcefield would be destroyed when they come into contact with the high-powered beams.
The authors of the report, titled Directed Energy Futures 2026, claim the world has now reached a “tipping point” in which DE is now critical to the success of military operations.
They also assert that the “concept of a DE weapon creating a localized force field maybe just on the horizon.”
プレスリリースで, AFRL’s Directed Energy Deputy Chief Scientist Jeremy Murray-Krezan said that current directed energy technology is “not quite” up to the standards seen in the Star Wars movies, but adds it’s “getting close.”
“沿って 2060 we can predict that DE systems will become more effective, and this idea of a force field includes methods to destroy other threats too,” Murray-Krezan said in the press release.
“Eventually there may be potential to achieve the penultimate goal of a Nuclear or ballistic missile umbrella.
“It’s fun to think about what that might be in 2060, but we don’t want to speculate too much.”
The report notes that DE systems already play a key role in military operations worldwide, including in counter-air defense, target identification, 追跡, counterintelligence search & reconnaissance (ISR), and electronic warfare (EW).
But is also, しかしながら, concedes that “significant technical advancement” is needed by 2060 to achieve the full range of power touted in the report.
Murray-Krezan said the document was intended to be somewhat of a thought experiment, but one that was rooted in current trends.
“We’re painting with broad strokes, but we’re diving into what missions of the future will look like," 彼は言った.
“DE is uniquely suited for an area of growing importance, nondestructive but damaging, 破裂, and denial of operations. Not every military operation has to result in a smoking hole in the ground for it to be successful.”
The reports also urges US officials to get behind the technology for the sake of the nation or risk falling behind the likes of China and Russia, だれ already developing anti-satellite microwave weapons.
“DEWs are currently being rapidly developed and proliferated around the world, and DE is globally considered to be a game-changing military technology,” the report reads.
“さらに, it is anticipated that peer-competitors, rogue nations, terrorist and criminal organizations will continue to possess similar DEWs that can degrade, disrupt, deny, ダメージ, and even destroy equipment.
‘Therefore, アメリカ. should invest in technologies to at least maintain parity in DE areas, which includes countermeasures to shore up known vulnerabilities in case of either a high-end conflict or a 9/11, terrorist-style, DE attack.”