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McFate Weighs In on US Developing Portable Laser Weapons in South China Morning Post Article

May 4, 2023

South China Morning Post

Sean McFate

Sean McFate

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Pentagon is spending $1 billion a year on developing directed energy weapons to counter threats such as drones and missiles. The GAO also says that much of the recent research has focused on making laser weapons small and light enough to be used by one person, but is still facing a challenge in moving beyond the prototype stage.

Sean McFate, adjunct professor in Maxwell's Washington programs, says despite the heavy U.S. investment in the technology, there are still limitations.

“Everyone wants light and portable laser weapons but it’s far off. Essentially, you also need a portable power plant, which is unrealistic…Lasers are more hype than reality, and the U.S. is investing $1 billion a year to bridge this gap. However, it may go on for years,” says McFate.

Read more in the South China Morning Post article, “China urged to step up laser weapons development to keep pace with US.”

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