Directed Energy Weapons

A directed energy weapon (DEW) is a ranged weapon system that inflicts damage at a target by emission of highly focused energy, including laser, microwaves and particle beams. Potential applications of this technology include anti-personnel weapon systems, missile defense system, and the disabling of lightly armored vehicles or mounted optical devices.

Directed Energy WeaponsIn the United States, the Pentagon, DARPA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, United States Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center, and the Naval Research Laboratory are researching technologies like directed-energy weapons and railguns to counter maturing threats posed by fast missiles such as ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles, and hypersonic glide vehicles. These systems of missile defense are expected to come online in the mid to late-2020s or later. Russia, China, India, and the United Kingdom are also developing directed-energy weapons.

After decades of R&D, directed-energy weapons are still very much at the experimental stage and it remains to be seen if or when they will be deployed as practical, high-performance military weapons.

Although some devices are labelled as microwave weapons, the microwave range is commonly defined as being between 300 MHz and 300 GHz which is within the RF rang, these frequencies having wavelengths of 1–1000 micrometers. More details