The US Air Force will shortly begin testing a laser that will be mounted on an F-15, an official has announced.
Just a reminder, the laser operating F-15 will not at all look like the image above as that’s from a game called ‘Ace Combat’. I thought it was cool. That is all, carry on.
“We have got tests starting this summer and the flight tests next summer,” Jeff Stanley, deputy assistant secretary of the US Air Force for science, technology and engineering, told reporters.
“There are still some technical challenges that we have to overcome, mainly size, weight, power.”
The Pentagon last year awarded a $26 million contract to Lockheed Martin for a laser program called SHiELD (Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator).
The overall aim is to put a laser system on aircraft with an output of about 50 kw to test their ability against unmanned aircraft and missiles.
This comes not long after the US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $150 million contract, with options worth up to $942.8 million, for the development, manufacture and delivery of two high power laser weapon systems.
The deal includes intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and counter-Unmanned Aerial System capabilities, by fiscal year 2020 say Lockheed.
With the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) system, Lockheed Martin says it will help the US Navy take a major step forward in its goal to field laser weapon systems aboard surface ships.
“The HELIOS program is the first of its kind, and brings together laser weapon, long-range ISR and counter-UAS capabilities, dramatically increasing the situational awareness and layered defense options available to the US Navy,” said Michele Evans, vice president and general manager of Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors.