The Pentagon is building drones mounted with lasers that can destroy enemy missiles before they have left the launch pad.
The US Missile Defence Agency has requested $66 million (£48 million) in funding to continue the top-secret programme, with a plan to begin tests by 2020.
Officials hope that innovative missile-intercepting technologies will help the US military to defend sites like Guam, Japan, and Hawaii from North Korean attacks.
Named Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD), the project aims to build lasers that can be mounted on to a drone and used to take out missiles before they are a threat.
If enough of the laser drones are in the air they could even neutralise missiles in the air shortly after they have left the launchpad, reports DefenseOne.
The Missile Defence Agency's revealed plans for LPLD as part of its $9.9 billion (£7.1 billion) budget request for 2019.
The agency has been developing the laser system for some time, and the funding it receives will help it continue the project for the forseeable future.
Lasers with the power needed to take out military-grade missiles are now possible thanks to innovations in so-called 'solid-state fibre lasers'.
These weapons use the same type of fibre-optic technology as modern communications cabling, and are significantly more powerful than conventional chemical or solid-state bulk lasers.
Last year, the US military gave contracts to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Atomics for the solid-state fibre laser programme's first phase.
Each company will present its own solution to the Pentagon before 2019.
US officials will pick one to continue, with a goal to have something ready for testing set for 2020.
With drones and other unmanned vehicles set to dominate battlefields of the future, the Pentagon has invested billions in the technology over the past decade.