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  • Video: Lockheed Laser Scuttles Small Boats
May 2014
SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 14, 2014 — A prototype laser disabled military watercraft recently, which developer Lockheed Martin said was another demonstration of the affordability and effectiveness of laser weapons.

The tests of the Area Defense Anti-Munitions (ADAM) system against maritime targets were carried out on the California coastline. In tests a year ago, the system was used to shoot down airborne targets including small-caliber rockets and an unmanned aerial system.

The 10 kW fiber laser fired on targets up to 1.2 miles away, with its tracking system able to obtain moving targets up to about 3 miles away. In the maritime tests, the ground-based laser took about 30 seconds to burn through multiple compartments of the rubber hull of the military-grade small boats operating in the ocean.

The ADAM design pairs commercial hardware components with Lockheed Martin’s laser beam control architecture and software. The end result is an affordable defensive weapon with virtually unlimited ammunition, the company said.

Another laser weapon under development, a thin-disk system from Boeing, demonstrated output power of 30 kW last August. 

For more information on the ADAM project, visit

fiber laser
A laser in which the lasing medium is an optical fiber doped with low levels of rare-earth halides to make it capable of amplifying light. Output is tunable over a broad range and can be broadband. Laser diodes can be used for pumping because of the fiber laser's low threshold power, eliminating the need for cooling.
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