The Directed Energy Air Defense, or DEAD system, is a weapon in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. It plays a major role in the campaign, as many countries have developed the weapon by the time of the game; serving as umbrellas over cities to nullify air assaults and rendering air superiority useless, forcing military strength to be focused on ground troops and land-based combat.
DEAD Systems are ground-based megawatt drone defense batteries. Following the Los Angeles Drone Attacks of 2025, the technological arms race grew rapidly. It was during this period that the Winslow Accords were signed, with each nation that signed it installing DEAD systems in major strategic structures and sites, including airports, military bases, industrial parks, and stadiums.
"Directed Energy Air Defense systems are a form of Ballistic Missile Defense that relies on powerful lasers to track, damage, and defeat incoming ballistic threats.
While early BMD systems relied on kinetic hit-to-kill missile launched interceptors with limited ammunition loads, DEAD systems can fire and keep firing for as long as they have the electrical power to do so.
In the first quarter of the 21st century, proof of concept was well underway with kilowatt class systems able to reliably take down incoming threats. KW class lasers required a decent length of time on target to produce enough damage to destroy the incoming threat; it wasn't until the mid-2040s, when solid-state lasers were able to produce megawatt beams reliably that laser-based BMD really came into its own.
Megawatt-class energy weapons require very little time to destroy an incoming target, and as such a single turret is capable of sweeping many inbound threats from the sky before they come into effective range, even those moving at hypersonic speeds.
With small batteries of MW-class turrets effectively able to deny the sky from horizon to horizon to enemy planes, drones, missiles, and mortars, the doctrine of air superiority established since the Cold War was effectively at an end. The face of the battlefield had changed.
Modern battlefield tactics now primarily focus on taking out opposing DEAD systems as early as possible in a conflict, either by ground forces supported by General Purpose Infantry Units, Special Forces actions, or through various kinds of electronic warfare."