National Interest: Aircraft-launched laser weapons could eventually be engineered for a wide range of potential uses, including air-to-air combat, close air support, counter-UAS(drone), counter-boat, ground attack and even missile defense, officials said. by Kris Osborn via Scout Warrior
'Lasers use intense heat and light energy to precisely incinerate targets without causing a large explosion – and they operate at very high speeds, giving them a near instantaneous ability to destroy fast-moving targets and defend against incoming enemy attacks, Air Force Chief Scientist Dr. Greg Zacharias told Scout Warrior in an interview.
'“The promise of directed energy is that electricity is cheap. Plus, you get the speed of light working for you so incoming missiles are easier to shoot at,” Zacharias said.
'Air Force Research Laboratory officials have said they plan to have a program of record for air-fired laser weapons in place by 2023.'