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Author Ellis, Jason D., author.

Title Directed-energy weapons : promise and prospects / by Jason D. Ellis
Published Washington, DC : Center for a New American Security, [2015]


Description 1 online resource (56 pages) : color illustrations
Series 20YY series
20YY series.
Contents Introduction -- The promise of directed-energy weapons -- Radiofrequency weapons and electromagnetic effects -- High-energy laser weapons -- Implications of a changing directed-energy weapons posture -- Findings and recommendations
Summary "Few weapons have held as much promise -- and have consistently failed to live up to that promise -- as directed-energy weapons. Since the 1960s, DOD has sought directed-energy weapons such as high-energy lasers or high-power microwaves. Directed energy has the potential to yield cost-effective weapons that can deliver precise, scalable effects -- and at long ranges -- with a large magazine capacity. Actual directed-energy programs, however, have frequently fallen short of expectations ... After a nearly half-century quest, the U.S. military today is on the cusp of finally fielding operationally relevant directed-energy weapons. While megawatt-class lasers to shoot down ballistic missiles remain, for now, a distant prospect, today's tactical lasers are potentially useful, cost-effective approaches for countering threats such as low-cost drones and small boats. High-power microwaves open up new avenues for non-kinetic effects, a significant advantage for controlling escalation or limiting collateral damage. Perhaps the most significant benefit to fielding these nascent directed-energy capabilities, however, 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. Beginning the crucial process of experimentation and concept development to learn how best to employ directed-energy weapons will be critical to ensuring that, as directed-energy technologies continue to mature, DOD is best postured to benefit. This report by Jason Ellis, a visiting senior fellow at CNAS on leave from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is an important contribution to understanding the promise and prospects of directed-energy weapons. It provides a much needed guide to this important capability area and offers a candid and objective assessment of the maturity of directed-energy weapons today and what developments may be possible with continued DOD investment. It concludes with recommendations for how DOD should proceed in this area, mindful of past failed promises but driven by the inherent warfighting potential that directed-energy weapons hold. As DOD senior leaders look to better understand the opportunities and feasibility of various candidate technologies for investment, this report provides a valuable resource to help inform their decisions "--Preface
Notes "April 2015."
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 52-56)
Notes Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (CNAS, viewed April 9, 2015)
Subject Directed-energy weapons.
Electromagnetic pulse.
Laser weapons.
Directed-energy weapons.
Electromagnetic pulse.
Laser weapons.
Form Electronic book
Author Center for a New American Security, publisher.