Navy’s Laser Weapon System.
Credit: John F. Williams


A recently released report forecasts the maturing nature of high energy laser weapons, high power microwave weapons and particle beam weaponry.

Apart from the U.S., China, Russia, Germany and India have stepped up efforts to design directed energy weapons, military hardware that can be used in the battlefield. These include high power radio frequency weapons, high energy lasers, and particle beam weapons, with effects ranging from satellite jamming to target damage.

The estimate is that the global directed energy weapons market will be valued at about $1.67 billion in 2017, growing to more than $4 billion in 2025.

Steadily and quietly matured

ASD Reports, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands explains: “Since the 1960s few weapons have held as much promise and have consistently failed to live up to that promise as Directed Energy Weapons (DEW). Over the past few years, however, even as most countries have scaled back their expectations and endowment from the highs of decades past, DEWs have steadily and quietly matured.”

Furthermore, while more moderate in power than the ambitious Airborne and Space-Based Laser programs of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, today’s DEWs have reached a point of operational maturity, ASD Reports points out.

Credit: ASD Reports

Major findings

According to a press statement from ASD Reports, their assessment points to:

  • The most significant benefit is fielding these nascent directed-energy capabilities is that they will start the crucial process of integrating a new technology into operations, with the attendant innovations required in organization, training, concepts of operation and doctrine.
  • New electrically powered, solid-state lasers (SSLs) may be the most promising alternatives for laser weapons that can be mounted on large mobile platforms such as surface naval vessels
  • Previous high-profile DE programs failed to deliver on promises of game changing capabilities. These failures have increased the military’s reluctance to adopt a new generation of DE weapons concepts that are based on significantly more mature technology.
  • DEWs will have to be proven in combat before militaries around the world grasps their full potential.

Full report

The full ASD Reports document examines, analyzes, and predicts the evolution of technologies, markets, and expenditures of Directed Energy Weapons from 2017 until 2025. The report examines each of these markets geographically, focusing on the top 95% of global markets, in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

For more information, go to:

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