ABSTRACT

Department of Defense Directed Energy Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress [September 28, 2021]   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Document: "Directed energy (DE) weapons use concentrated electromagnetic energy, rather than kinetic energy, to combat enemy forces. Although the United States has been researching directed energy since the 1960s, some experts have observed that the Department of Defense (DOD) has invested billions of dollars in DE programs that failed to reach maturity and were ultimately cancelled. In recent years, however, DOD has made progress on DE weapons development, deploying the first operational U.S. DE weapon in 2014 aboard the USS 'Ponce.' [...] This report provides background information and issues for Congress on DE weapons, including high-energy lasers (HELs) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons, and outlines selected unclassified DOD, Air Force, Army, and Navy DE programs. If successfully fielded, HELs could be used by ground forces in a range of missions, including short-range air defense (SHORAD); counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS); and counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) missions."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46925
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2021-09-28
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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