The Advanced Tactical Laser, a silent, invisible weapon which could apply blow torch temperatures to a target from 20km away, has been promoted as a weapon that could allow attacks to be carried out and then plausibly denied.
The statement was first made by chief engineer of the US Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate Cynthia Kaiser last October and repeated by director of USAF's Capabilities Integration Directorate John Corley in June.
"The target would never know what hit them. Further, there would be no munition fragments that could be used to identify the source of the strike," said John Pike, an analyst at Global Security. The laser was test fired during summer.