Industry Perspective: Layered Defense Rooted in Directed Energy Tech – National Defense Magazine

by | Aug 3, 2022 | Energy

Industry Perspective: Layered Defense Rooted in Directed Energy Tech


Joe Shepherd

Defense Dept., iStock photo-illustration

The ongoing Ukraine-Russia war reflects the future of warfare: a multidomain fight across land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. It is a conflict blended between physical and electronic theaters.
It also reveals a future in which urban combat among large civilian populations is the norm, and next-generation capabilities such as unmanned aerial vehicles and hypersonic missiles are brought to bear — to say nothing about conventional infantry, ground vehicles, artillery and aircraft.
Foundational to achieving overmatch in this warfighting continuum and defeating emerging threats is a multi-layered defense architecture that harnesses the full breadth of the military and intelligence infrastructure. As the tip of this spear, warfighters and vehicles must be equipped with a range of electronic warfare technologies such as artificial intelligence, edge computing and directed energy.
The impact of directed energy, specifically on modern day warfare, could be profound — it is a disruptive technology with the potential to transform the battlefield. The country that can develop and field this technology at scale first will have a distinct, strategic advantage over adversaries, with the ability to counter a range of emerging threats from drone swarms to vehicle borne improvised explosive devices to hypersonic missiles.
Directed energy is a uniquely versatile technology family, with several subsets that can be tailored to different applications, and so …

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