On 4 July 2005, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported:

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is looking at quickly fielding a system to Iraq that could shoot enemy forces with a lethal laser.

The Tactical Relay Mirror System (TRMS) would use a 15 kW-25 kW solid-state laser – prototypes of which have already been successfully tested by several companies – and relays mounted on aerostats or the MQ-9A Predator unmanned aerial vehicle.

The DoD’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT) has, for several years, advocated using relays to shoot lasers over the horizon, but those efforts have been focused on strategic attacks. The DoD has also been funding development of a laser that could reach 100 kW, previously thought to be the threshold at which the laser is useful as a weapon.

Much work has to be done on understanding the effects of these types of weapons, army officials said. The US has had a classified directed-energy weapon for 20 years but it has never been used because commanders have been unsure what the effect on people would be, said Brigadier General Philip Coker, director of capabilities developments at the Futures Center, Training and Doctrine Command.

Source: Joshua Kucer, "U.S. eyes fast fielding of attack laser," Jane’s Defense Weekly (4 July 2005).

 

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