Air Force aims for laser weapons on a fighter jet by 2021

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Lockheed Martin is helping the Air Force Research Lab develop and high energy laser weapon systems for aircraft, including the laser pictured in this rendering. AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB/LOCKHEED MARTIN
From Stripes.com
Lockheed Martin is helping the Air Force Research Lab develop and high energy laser weapon systems for aircraft, including the laser pictured in this rendering. AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB/LOCKHEED MARTIN

Air Force aims for laser weapons on a fighter jet by 2021

by: William Howard | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: November 21, 2017

The Air Force Research Laboratory is forging ahead with a high-energy laser designed to shoot down drones, incoming rockets and mortar rounds and hopes to have a demonstration model ready by 2021, officials say.

The Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator program, or SHiELD, which launched this year, seeks to equip supersonic warplanes, such as the B-1 Lancer, F-35 Lightning and F-22 Raptor, with defensive lasers mounted in external pods.

The Air Force wants a high-energy laser system compact enough to complement the internal cannon and missiles equipped on its fighter jets.

The new system uses a type of optical fiber as the light-emitting material, instead of the neodymium-doped crystals used in conventional solid-state lasers. Since fiber can be coiled, more power can be packed into a compact system.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.498652

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