The US Air Force a few years back mentioned that they wanted to outfit aircraft with Laser Beams by 2021. Well, the testers at White Sands Missile Range have successfully used lasers to shoot down multiple launched missiles. This was done using their Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator or SHiELD) for short. This test proved that they can be relied upon in extreme circumstances and be successful. The current models of SHiELD are immobile and only on the ground. Sources say though that finished technology should be portable soon enough and be able to withstand the force of Americas best aircraft.
“We have shown that a powerful directed energy laser is now sufficiently light-weight, low volume and reliable enough to be deployed on tactical vehicles for defensive applications on land, at sea and in the air,” SHiELD Lockheed Martin laser weapons expert Robert Afzal said in a statement.
“One of the problems with the chemical laser is that first of all they’re too big and too heavy — and you have to carry the chemicals with you,” Afzal told CNBC on Friday. “With an electric laser, your platform which is driving, sailing, flying around, usually has a power system that can recharge your battery back. But in a chemical laser, once the chemicals are gone you have to go back to the depot.”
The SHiELD program includes three subsystems:
- SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects (STRAFE), the beam control system, which will direct the laser onto the target
- Laser Pod Research & Development (LPRD), the pod mounted on the tactical fighter jet, which will power and cool the laser
- Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE), the high energy laser itself, which can be trained on adversary targets to disable them
With all the things going on in the world, SHiELD Lockheed Martin seems like a possible good step forward. When does the race for the best war technology lead to peace? will sharks have laser beams. Lets discuss…