HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The deputy to the Commanding General at the United States Army Space and Missle Defense Command joined Leadership Perspectives to talk about new defense tactics coming to life.
Richard De Fatta is the Deputy to the Commanding General and three-star, Daniel Karbler.
De Fatta started out in the U.S. Army and spent about 27 years there. His primary background is in engineering and physics. His degree is in laser physics, and he says the ability to work on high technology projects, like Directed Energy, is what got him back into the government.
Directed Energy, more commonly known as lasers, is something the country has talked about for years. Contractors have plans for large and small lasers to shoot down everything from tactical aircraft, and fighter planes to missiles and drones.
De Fatta says that finally may be coming to fruition, “This fiscal year, the Army is actually delivering prototype laser systems on striker vehicles, so they’ll actually be giving them to soldiers to use for the first time.” He explained these prototypes are not large lasers but systems that will have capabilities with rockets, artillery, mortar, UAVs and some small drones.
He also explained the cost-effectiveness of using lasers instead of traditional artillery rounds. These lasers can replace truckloads of shells during combat, according to military officials.
The United States Army Space and Missle Defense Command at Redstone Arsenal is the nation’s largest user of Space in the Department of Defense and De Fatta says civilians are always shocked when he describes “everyday tasks” that depend on space – like using your GPS.
“We’re the biggest user [of space] because of systems and capabilities ground-based and things going to space utilizing assets that are available,” De Fatta explained.
They use all types of satellite based systems for missile systems but also for telling you where you are.
You can watch the full interview with De Fatta in the video player above.