(The Sun) Harry Pettit Nov 5 2019 14:56 HEAVILY-ARMORED vehicles loaded with laser cannons will be deployed by the US Army within the next three years. The upcoming weapon systems each chew through enough energy to power several homes and can take down drones helicopters and incoming missiles. Officially known as directed energy lasers theyll hit battlefields in the year 2022 attached to a platoon of four vehicles an army report stated. The time is now to get directed energy weapons to the battlefield Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood Director of Hypersonics Directed Energy Space and Rapid Acquisition said in the report. The Army recognizes the need for directed energy lasers as part of the Armys modernization plan. This is no longer a research effort or a demonstration effort. It is a strategic combat capability and we are on the right path to get it in Soldiers hands. Army researchers have worked on the weapon for several years. High energy lasers travel at the speed of light and are one way the Army plans to defend itself from new aerial threats according to an Army release. The extreme temperatures they produce is able to simply melt enemy craft in an instant. Aerial threats of concern to US troops include drones loaded with guns or explosives.