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DARPA recently completed testing a key component of
HELLADS, a laser system that demonstrated the ability to
achieve both high power and beam quality from a
significantly lighter and smaller laser. The achievement
was made possible by advances in cooling, lightweight
electronics, pumps, optics, diodes and metal structures
that have made shrinking the size and weight of the
laser possible without losing effectiveness. The next
goal of the project is to develop an even smaller laser,
with up to 150 kW of power, that will be field-tested
against mortars, surface-to-air missiles and rockets at
White Sands Missile Range in 2013. Ultimately, the
lasers will be integrated into tactical aircraft for
defense and to attack airborne and ground targets.
US Navy SEALs have a James Bond-like mini-sub at their
disposal for clandestine missions.
DARPA's Nano UAV
DARPA's Nano Air Vehicle Program has been working to
develop an extremely small, ultra lightweight air
vehicle (less than 15 centimeters and less than 20
grams) to perform indoor and outdoor military
surveillance during urban operations. DARPA has recently
released a video (below) of their latest work, the "Nano
Hummingbird." The bird-like drone can hover and fly much
like a real hummingbird, and the onboard camera can send
real-time video back to the operator. Enemies of the
United States won't be happy when one day in the near
future a mechanical bird flies past their position.