In general, laser weapons offer warfighters unique opportunities for quick and precise target engagement, flexibility and lighter and more responsive support logistics. Some of the capabilities that make lasers attractive for operational users are:
- Speed-of-light delivery
- Multiple target engagements and rapid retargeting
- Deep magazines
- Low incremental cost per shot
- Exceptional accuracy and adjustability
- Lower logistical support requirements
Today, AFRL is working with the Air Force and other Department of Defense partners to bring high energy laser weapons to the warfighter. AFRL is rapidly maturing fiber laser beam combining capabilities, where larger numbers of fiber laser amplifiers are combined into a single beam. Significant progress has been made in increasing the output power of individual fiber laser amplifiers. Through beam combining, single amplifier improvements result in enormous power scaling. AFRL is actively transitioning this and other key technology elements to strategic DoD entities and prime contractors for use in Advanced Technology Demonstrations.