Some Directed-Energy Weapons Show Promise While Others Slow

Air Force officials are still looking to perfect directed-energy weapons to use against the low-tech threat of small drones before scaling up lasers and microwaves to take out cruise missiles. The Air Force’s high-power microwave weapon known as the Tactical High-Power Microwave Operational Responder, or THOR, is heading to the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico for further testing, Don Shiffler, chief scientist in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s directed energy branch, said July 7. He added the Self-Protect High-Energy Laser Demonstrator, or SHiELD, program is having difficulty shrinking a powerful laser into a pod compact enough to fly on an airplane.