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General Atomics Plans 150kW Laser Tests; Eye On AC-130, Avenger

General Atomics Plans 150kW Laser Tests; Eye On AC-130, Avenger image
December 22, 2015 | Source: Richard Whittle

General Atomics, whose MQ-1 Predator changed the world, is to start testing another potentially revolutionary weapon next month: a 150-kilowatt class laser. Several other companies are developing laser weapons and “we’re looking at all of them,” said Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, in an interview with Breaking Defense. “The technology is ripe for application on an AC-130.” General Atomics hopes to see AFSOC install a version of the weapon on the AC-130 gunship in the next few years. They also envision equipping the company’s new jet-powered Predator C Avenger drone with a laser derived from their High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS).