Directed energy weapons making a great leap forward

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July 5, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: July 5 on

Paul Shattuck is director and chief engineer for Directed Energy Systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. He’s been with Lockheed since 1974, with a focus area of the development of beam control technologies for High Power Laser Directed Energy Systems. He spent most of the 1980s developing and testing beam control technologies for the Strategic Defense Initiative, culminating in a simulated ground demonstration of a pace-based laser engagement of enemy ballistic missiles for President Reagan in November 1987. For 15 years he held various leadership roles on the Airborne Laser (ABL) program, He recently spoke with Defense Systems contributor David Walsh about ramped-up interest in directed energy (d-e) technology and laser (“beam”) weapons, including Lockheed’s ATHENA test, in which a laser burned through a truck engine a mile distant.