US laser weapon presents a cheap way to deal with threats
...The weapon will probably supplement more traditional defensive systems at least initially. The cost factor may result in much wider use. It is not quite the electronic shield envisioned by Star Trek, but it is certainly an advance over current systems.
Lockheed believe the laser will act as a complementary weapon on the battlefield and will prove particularly effective in disabling drones or incoming rockets.
In 2015, the company used a 30kW laser weapon, known as ATHENA, to disable a truck sited a mile away.
Solid state laser technology is seen as a cheap option to defend against incoming attacks.
A Patriot missile, usually priced at about $3 million was recently used to shoot down a $200 quadcopter drone, according to a US general.
Conversely, in 2015 the Navy estimated that a solid-state laser can be fired for less than one dollar per shot.