Cold War Weapons | Lasers: Episode 1

During the Cold War, outer space was perceived as the key area of confrontation between the superpowers. But that wasn’t the only realm of competition. In the 1960s, another super-secret competition began – the fight to create a laser. At that time only a small circle of specialists knew about the super-weapon that could alter the world's entire security system.

In the 1970s, the US launched its “Excalibur” project. The device was presumed to be placed around a nuclear charge. After the bomb explosion, lasers would be directed to attack a target thousands of kilometers away. The idea was to capture the bomb’s energy and collect it into a destructive beam.

At the same time, the USSR was hard at work on the “Skif” project. Scientists began to develop an orbital laser-combat platform that was supposed to destroy enemy satellites, seagoing vessels or ground targets with laser weapons. But there was another even more secret Soviet project – a superlaser called Terra-3. The military used it in 1984 to irradiate an American spacecraft that was flying over the laser installation on a spy mission.

Watch the new episode of Cold War Weapons to find out more about super-secret laser weapons and watch them in action! Also learn about what put an end to the laser era and why once frightening testing sites are now abandoned. Don’t forget about a new release coming every Monday!