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.

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farouk
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farouk

Just as a side story, the Chinese have actually started fielding a ‘so called’ AK47 sized lazer rifle:
http://www.newsweek.com/china-develops-star-wars-style-laser-ak-47-can-set-fire-targets-and-pass-1004365

farouk
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farouk
Mike
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Mike

Utter bullshit

Steve M
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Steve M

I call bull for several reasons:

1. Power supply size – you’d need literally kilos of battery weight to produce this power laser
2. Physics – the light would be scattered off the water molecules in the air, requiring focusing and greater battery power/weight yet again.

There’s a reason current units in testing with the USA on vehicles/aircraft: power.

It could be true, if the laser can set fire to clothing only if it’s covered in an accelerant…. at 8 meters not 800.

Andy G
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Andy G

Kilos of batteries, sounds fine to me.
Physics – they are not using frequencies that are absorbed by water.
Still sounds a bit far fetched for 2018 though.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Fingers crossed that our outdoor testing of Dragonfire this month bears fruit.
Clearly this is something we can build upon and develop for our aircraft too.

I’ve often wondered if a larger version could be built to protect our coastline and cities?
https://www.theengineer.co.uk/dragonworks-laser-qinetiq/

chris
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chris

The Oval Office – Tuesday 3/7/18.

President Trump: Alright Jim I’ve made my decision. I want F 15’s with frickin’ laxer beams. Is it too much to ask for friction’ laser beams.

Jim Matiss: How about F 15’s with sharks with frickin’ laser beams.

Trump: Sharks you say…

Steve M
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Steve M

Or ill-tempered mutated seabass? 😀

Patrick James Beckett
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Patrick James Beckett

Am I the only one who feels really uncomfortable about this?

Paul Marchant
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Paul Marchant

I would simply coat my equipment with mirrors…… What use then a laser against me?

Andy G
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Andy G

You are assuming the lasers use visible light, they wont.

Expat
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Expat

“There are still some technical challenges that we have to overcome, mainly size, weight, power.” So basically all 3 critical engineering challenges to actually have working system 🙂 . Also if these are going to remain a challenge then rolling this out to F35, particularly the B variant may never happen. The US is considering if a 6th Gen fighter needs to be agile or fast, the argument is agility or speed cannot defeat the laser as they are instant so impossible to avoid once detected. A bigger slower but stealthy airframe which has plenty of power, long range sensors… Read more »

Helions
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Helions