Lockheed Martin invented a phaser that will do much more than stun

It’s about as big as a car and you most definitely can’t afford it (unless, of course, you run a small country).
2 min. read

OG nerds, grab your spandex! Lockheed Martin is in the final stages of developing a real life Star Trek phaser.

It’s about as big as a car and you most definitely can’t afford it (unless, of course, you run a small country) but Lockheed Martin officials insist phaser technology has arrived, Techly reported.

A team at Lockheed Martin, led by Dr. Rob Afzal, is currently testing a 60 kW high-energy laser beam weapon that travels at the speed of light and can bore through a two-inch piece of steel in seconds.

Whoa, dude.

But unlike Star Trek, the laser is almost invisible. It works by directing a stream of concentrated energy toward a target and heating it until it melts — or explodes.

Suffice to say if you got in the way of this heavy-duty phaser, it might leave a mark.

Lockheed Martin has been working with high-energy laser beam technology for more than 30 years. In 2014, it hit a major milestone by demonstrating a 30 kW electric fiber laser that retained its quality and electrical efficiency, officials said in a statement.

In 2015, that laser successfully identified and disabled a car engine from more than a mile away.

In March 2016, Afzal and his team announced that the 30 kW laser is ready for use, Defense News reported.

"Where?" You ask. In the military. Duh.

Using an automated tracking system, these lasers can be used to identify and track enemy warheads to render them harmless.

Defense News reports that the Pentagon has spoken openly about using weapons like these to attack ISIS-operated trucks.

“So everything exists today,”  Paul Shattuck, company director for Directed Energy Systems, told Defense News, “It’s just a question of the desire and when is that going to occur.”

Lockheed Martin is set to deliver the aforementioned 60 kW laser to the Army by the year’s end.

As for your personal phaser, you’ll just have to wait. But Afzal, a Trekkie himself, is working on scaling down the technology’s size and told Techly he feels confident it will one day be available in hand-held form.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at [email protected] or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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