Italian military chief envisions the Tempest fighter zapping missiles

April 13, 2021

Defense News:

Sixth-generation Tempest fighters firing laser beams will be able to take out hypersonic missiles in the future, Italy’s military chief of staff has claimed.

Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli made the prediction at a Rome seminar on missile defense, stating that directed-energy weapons were “probably the future” when it came to stopping the hypersonic missiles now being developed around the world.

Hypersonic technology was a “game changer” which would inflict “devastating” damage on foes, he said, adding: “On Tempest there will be a large amount of energy available and I don’t rule out the use of directed energy” against “missiles of the latest generation, including hypersonic missiles.”

Italy’s Leonardo, BAE Systems and MBDA are currently working together to assess the feasibility of building an airborne laser for Tempest, the UK-led future fighter program.

Last month a Leonardo official told Defense News the weapon could develop out of work already being undertaken by MBDA, QinetiQ and Leonardo on a UK ship-borne laser program, Dragonfire…

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