The problematic and often complicated entanglement of the individual and technology continues to define and hinder the deployment of innovative advancements into general defense applications. Improving technology is out there, despite the many Luddites fears of hackers, EMPs, and bears, oh my. On the other hand our science, technology, engineering and math scores have not exactly been up to par over the past few decades.

Arguably, one could simply give up on the research and development process, abandoned advancement and move into a cave. Although I won’t be joining that tribe and neither should you.  One reason is lasers; that’s right freaking lasers! Light amplification by simulated emission of radiation, brought from theory and testing to practical invention in 1960. The laser assists from bloodless surgeryPink Floyd showsweapons guidance and all of this cool stuff the Lockheed is developing.

Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system successfully disabled the engine of a small truck during a recent field test, demonstrating the rapidly evolving precision capability to protect military forces and critical infrastructure.

Known as ATHENA, for Advanced Test High Energy Asset, the ground-based prototype system burned through the engine manifold in a matter of seconds from more than a mile away. The truck was mounted on a test platform with its engine and drive train running to simulate an operationally-relevant test scenario.