a number of other companies are also working on lasers that might be suitable for use on the AC-130. Lockheed Martin, the aircraft’s manufacturer, is developing a 60-kilowatt-class laser for the Army, for example, and Northrop has advertised its interest in developing airborne lasers as well. AFSOC has studies under way to determine the best solution.
And they are getting small enough to put on a small truck:
General Atomics has developed another version that fits in a box 12 feet long, 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall.
60 kW is a lot of punch. A six inch diameter magnifying glass collects about 15 W (1/4000th of the power of the laser) and quickly fries an ant.
And these are going to get smaller too. A 1 kW laser rifle would seem to be plausible and useful for some tasks.
I know it could make Sean’s dream come true.