The engine of this old Ford F-150 was surgically blasted to oblivion from more than a mile away by a 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system called ATHENA made by security and aerospace outfit Lockheed Martin. ...Yikes.

ATHENA (Advanced Test High ENergy Asset) uses fiber-optics to generate laser beams that, as you can see, are terrifyingly precise and reportedly "the highest power ever documented by a laser weapon of its type." Lockheed Martin claims the hood and top end of the engine were burned through "in a matter of seconds."

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The company calls the tech spectral beam combining; in which "multiple fiber laser modules form a single, powerful, high-quality beam that provides greater efficiency and lethality than multiple individual 10-kilowatt lasers used in other systems."

So I guess, like the Death Star dish-cannon or when the Ghostbusters "cross the streams."

The company's Chief Technology Officer Keoki Jackson says they're hoping to strap these things to airplanes, helicopters, ships, and trucks.

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For more a detailed analysis, our military research division Foxtrot Alpha has some deeper breakdowns of laser weapons and their applications.

As for this poor unfortunate Ford in particular... I know we'd love to see its destruction from the perspective of that video camera mounted where the antenna should go, but sadly Lockheed Martin says it's classified.

Image via Lockheed Martin


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.