Despite decades and billions of dollars spent on the creation of laser weapons, the United States still has nothing to show the world: single prototypes are very bulky, consume a huge amount of energy and are not able to destroy even an enemy truck. The greatest successes have been achieved by laser cannons in the destruction of drones, so the first, most likely, the Pentagon will equip the air defense units with combat lasers.
Today, the basis of US air defense is made up of interceptor fighters, and obsolete Patriot air defense systems and Stinger MANPADS. According to the Breaking Defense publication, today the US Army spends more than 50% of the funds allocated for R&D (research and development) on the development of combat lasers. Their replacement of the artillery and short-range anti-aircraft missile systems, which are currently in service, designed to destroy aircraft, helicopters and drones, should begin in 2023.
According to American military experts, this approach is quite understandable: aircraft are easy prey for lasers. A slight damage to the airframe is enough, and gravity will "finish" the rest.
The Pentagon's plans are very ambitious: by 2023, create a 50 kW laser strike complex capable of destroying up to several enemy drones in a short period of time - and, possibly, Russian "Calibers". In a more distant perspective, it is planned to shoot down flying artillery and mortar shells using lasers.