Directed energy viewed as 'transforming'. (Washington Pulse).
The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. must speed up development of directed-energy weapons A system using directed energy primarily as a direct means to damage or destroy enemy equipment, facilities, and personnel. See also directed energy; directed-energy device. , to stay ahead of potential enemies, said retired Air Force Gen. Ronald Fogleman General Ronald Robert Fogleman (born January 1942) was Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. As chief, he served as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipage of 750,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces .
"Directed-energy weapons [such as lasers] will be the cornerstone cornerstone
Ceremonial building block, dated or otherwise inscribed, usually placed in an outer wall of a building to commemorate its dedication. Often the stone is hollowed out to contain newspapers, photographs, or other documents reflecting current customs, with a view to of America's arsenal in the 21st century. ... [They have] the potential to become the single most transforming weapon," he told a conference sponsored by the Lexington Institute, a public policy think tank.
He noted that further development is needed to make laser weapons a reality, however. "We understand the physics; it's no longer an issue of technology. Now [the problem] is engineering," he said.
The ability to get laser weapons to the battlefield "will be determined by our vision and determination," he said.
Some non-lethal laser technologies have been tested in battle already, Fogleman said. Lasers were employed as tactical aids in Somalia, he said. In one instance, a laser was used as a spotlight to guide troops in the dark. The laser, invisible to the naked eye, could only be seen with night-vision goggles goggles,
n the protective eyewear worn by dental personnel and patients during dental procedures.
see periocular leukotrichia. , he said.
Potential enemies of the United States are also investing in directed energy An umbrella term covering technologies that relate to the production of a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy or atomic or subatomic particles. Also called DE. See also directed-energy device; directed-energy weapon. , Fogleman said. "I'm not in the camp of people who believe China is our enemy, but you can't ignore their potential. I am led to believe that the Chinese are very actively working on these programs," Fogleman said. Russia also had an extensive research program in this area, and "they've done a lot of work in the field of high-powered microwave."