Well the American military finally has a Phaser and it’s… nothing like we expected it to be. We’ve been conditioned by the likes of Star Trek to think that a phaser is a hand-held weapon, not a room-sized directed-energy weapon powered by a diesel generator. But America’s Phaser is quite good at killing drones, so that’s something.
Testing of the Phaser, which is a high-powered microwave weapon that relies on a few external radar systems (at least at the time of testing) for correct functioning, saw two drone types shot down. America’s Tempest and Flanker drones were killed during testing but just about anything using circuitry caught in range will be cooked just as effectively. That means drones (military and commercial), smartphones, laptops, and digital devices of any kind will stop functioning if caught in the Phaser’s area of effect. Which, by the way, hasn’t been revealed. The US Army needs some secrets, after all.
Unfortunately the reveal video, like most US Army weapons systems video, is about as dry as a bowl of uncooked oats. The sorts of people who approve new weapon systems probably aren’t big on marketing, though, so the choice to stick to the facts here is understandable. Still, if they let Michael Bay direct one of these things one time…
Defence contractor Raytheon executed these tests of their directed-energy weapon at Fort Sill in Oklahoma in 2013 but the testing was only recently cleared for public release. Since the first live-fire test, Raytheon has reduced the size of the Phaser by half.
Source: via Engadget