The US Army’s 60 kilowatt advanced test high energy asset (ATHENA) laser weapon prototype took down five Outlaw unmanned aerial systems over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last month.
The weapons platform is designed by Lockheed Martin, which posted the following video of ATHENA in action.
According to the defense contracting giant, the weapon system makes use of the magnifying glass effect to strengthen the beam applied against targets. It can horizontally rotate to strike targets in any direction; boasts unlimited ammunition by injecting power and removing excess heat from the turret itself; and is compatible for air, land, and sea domains.
On Wednesday, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) chief Lt. Gen. Marshall Webb said the service plans to test a much stronger 150 kilowatt laser weapon system aboard a gunship in 2018. The weapon system, known as the high energy liquid laser area defense system (HELLADS), is the result of a General Atomics project that has received significant development support and funding from the Pentagon’s secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) because it wouldn’t be related to the government if it didn’t have an acronym.
Why is the TV show “SEAL Team” worth watching?
Of the three major military dramas broadcasting these days on TV, the SEAL Team is the most sincere.
The TV shows (Wednesdays, 9 ET/PT, ★★½ out of four) works mostly because it’s not reaching beyond its comfort zone. Following a team of U.S. Navy SEALs carrying out covert operations with the aid of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), it’s an uncomplicated action series without twists or unnecessary spectacle, at least so far.
TV veteran David Boreanaz (Bones) plays Jason Hayes, the leader of the Tier One Navy SEALs, and he’s an intense and focused guy not unlike the FBI agent he played for so many years on Fox’s series. Jason’s home life has crumbled due to his dedication to his work, and he’s haunted by the death of a teammate on a recent mission. The cast is rounded out by Jessica Paré (Mad Men) as a CIA analyst and Max Thieriot as a young and ambitious soldier trying to make it into the Tier One unit.
The TV drama plays to the strengths of its network, and its star. The missions are simple and paint the soldiers as patriotic and unimpeachably good. In last week’s second episode, Navy SEAL flirted with bigger questions about war and the state of the world, but all in the service of its core characters. The action is sharp, clean and often close up, prioritizing the soldiers’ points of view.
The lack of sensationalism is what makes Navy SEAL a stronger entry into the military genre this fall than NBC’s The Brave and CW’s Valor. The Brave is flashy, while Valor is twisty and ill-conceived, and neither has a cast as engaging.
U.S. Navy SEAL Team is straightforward, but also enjoyable. Sometimes simple works. Take a look:
Elite Russian Special Forces in Astonishing Footage
Special Operations Forces of Russia, or SOF (Russian: Силы специальных операций; ССО, tr. Sily spetsial’nykh operatsii; SSO) are strategic-level special forces under the Special Operations Forces Command (Russian: командование сил специальных операций; KCCO, tr. Komandovanie sil spetsial’nalnykh operatsii; KSSO, or KSO) of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Formation of first units for future Special Operations Forces began in 2009 as part of the overall reform of the Russian Armed Forces. Special Operations Forces Command was set up in 2012 and announced in March 2013 by the Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. According to Gerasimov, the SOF was designed as a strategic-level asset, whose primary missions would be foreign interventions, including sabotage and anti-terrorism operations. SOF do not belong to any branch of the Russian armed forces and are not to be confused with special forces that until 2010 were under the GRU and whose subsequent subordination appears to be unclear. Russia′s SOF are manned exclusively by professional personnel hired on contract, in commissioned officer positions.
The video compilation is showing various parts of Russian Special Operations Forces.