U. S. Air Force Maj. Paul ‘Loco Lopez, F-22 Demo Team commander/pilot, performs a high speed pass during the Thunder on the Bay air show, March 30, 2019. (U. S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Samuel Eckholm)
((U. S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Samuel Eckholm))
Anti-missile lasers can be quickly attached to the AMERICAN fighter jets after a successful testing on the ground.
The military aircraft could be on the ‘Star Wars’ – style equipment as soon as 2020.
U. S. Air Force officials have revealed that they conducted a successful test with the help of a ground laser if it was able to shoot down “several missiles”.
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The exact number of missiles, the lasers can shoot can not be revealed for security reasons.
The test was carried out by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as part of the Self-Protecting High-Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD), a program aimed at creating tech for the protection of the aircraft from incoming missiles.
Although, the ground missile was quite large, the military researchers think that they are now much closer to creating one that is small enough to attach to board a plane.
A AFRL statement said: “The final Shield system, however, will be much smaller and lighter, as well as robust for an air environment.”
Flight tests for the laser-equipped fighter jets are scheduled for 2020.
Weapons maker Lockheed Martin was asked for the construction of the aircraft back in 2017.
However, the shrinking of a laser system is a huge technical challenge, and a laser system that can be a rocket should be very powerful.
The US has already trialed a laser system on a plane before in the form of the YAL-1 Airborne Laser aircraft.
This reconnaissance aircraft was made of a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F aircraft.
It was used to the practice of firing lasers and missiles to destroy the air, but retired in 2014.
This story originally appeared in The Sun.