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Friday, May 20th, 2022

DOD Research and Engineering Nominee pledges to advance directed energy weapons program

© Executive Gov
Michael Griffin

The directed energy weapons program, meant to upgrade the military with high energy laser and high powered microwave weapons technology, has received a commitment of support from a nominee within the Department of  Defense.

Michael Griffin, nominated for Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, made the pledge during a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting this week. Though the program was created with a $100 million investment under the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act until now it has received no vocal support from the Pentagon.

For the program leads, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), this is good news. Griffin’s commitment would give the program higher priority within the Pentagon apparatus, given that his newly established role would see him serving as Chief Technology Officer for the Pentagon. Only created in 2017, Griffin’s under secretary position would put him in charge of all defense research and engineering, technology development, transition, prototyping, experimentation and developmental testing for the nation’s defense.

For his part, Heinrich has been pushing energy weapon systems for the last several years. Many of these systems are being developed in facilities within his state and he has worked with industry, advocacy groups, and military services to promote their increased funding.