Lockheed Martin is considering laser weapon concepts for use by the F-35 and other aircraft.

A recent press briefing in the Netherlands for the F-35 has restarted the rumour mill that the F-35 will be one of the platforms that will eventually feature laser based weapons technology.

The US military and its allies have allocated millions of dollars for directed energy research and development. The US Air Force is pursing laser weapon systems for installation on fighter jets as well as the AC-130J Ghostrider gunship.

The UK also recently announced its interest in creating a directed energy based defence system, similar to Phalanx, for its warships.

Lockheed Martin, Notre Dame University, DARPA and the Air Force Research Lab last year started flight testing a streamlined and miniaturised airborne laser turret.

The turret allows for 360 degree aiming coverage for directed energy weapons that will be flying on military aircraft in the not so distant future and is able to rapidly aim at targets and focus a directed energy burst through the atmosphere at those targets to disable or destroy them.

Lockheed senior fellow for laser and sensor systems said at a media briefing on the 5th of October last year:

“We’re looking at concepts for the integration of a laser weapon onto the F-35. We’re also looking at the utility and doing models and calculations so you would understand the utility of a leaser weapon system in the F-35.”

General Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, said recently that the US Air Force is continuing efforts to field directed energy weapons:

“I think we’re on the cusp of actually being able to field a true laser weapon within the next five to six years. We’ve got an activity that’s going forward, to put a laser on a fighter aircraft, not to blow up scud missiles or to win in a dogfight, but as an air defence.”

Rumours and speculation are rife but at a time where directed energy based technology is fast being adopted by the military, we can only expect them to become more common.

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Kenneth Burns

It’s no shark with a lazer beam though

Danny G Tiplady

Sharks…. lasers….. laser Sharks…. UP TO THE INFINITITH FLOOR!!!! SHOOT… you was quoting lego movie right…

Danny G Tiplady

Bang, bang, bang-bang-bang-bang! Shoot, shoot, shoot. Bullet, bullet, gun Zap, zap, zap, pow. Zap, pow

Michael John Smith

No it won’t.

I’m afraid those in industry and the forces that we spoke to disagree with you.

Those in the industry are seeking more corporate welfare for a project they cannot fulfil … don’t be fooled by the shiney shiney …. how is an F-35 going to generate 40kW minimum power requirement ?

Relatively simply, even General Atomics Aeronautical Systems hopes to eventually integrate its 150kW High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defence System laser weapon system with the “Predator C”.

John Craig

Are detractors assuming sustained output figures, not the substantial microsecond burst capability of even low performance units.

lol … “hopes” …. wishes, dreams.

As per the GA Hellad … The system has a weight goal of 5 kg (11 lb) per kW of energy , do the maths for 150kW , and where inside the F-35’s compact airframe is this going to go?

You look at how the computer system has evolved, and it may not be impossible to achieve

Malcolm Burr

War of the worlds just around the corner look out mars

Jed Grant

Yes Malcolm ??

Adrian Bennett

blimey think the 1st ones where test on a 747 in the early 2000s so they cant be far off so 5 to 6 year could be about right

Michael John Smith

The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed weapons system was a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser that weighed about 18 metric Tonnes.

Logic Christian

Yah is Possible! So long as the industry permit,

Henrique Attuch

Thiago Thiago Araujo Monteiro

Tom Jones

Ray of death

Connor Rudman

The level of accuracy that you can get with a laser ‘beam of light’ is incredible.

Ian Nash

Hopefully frikkin laser beams


Maybe, but not for some time to come.
I doubt the existing power systems could sustain one.

David Marshall Grice

Starters style I hope lol

Gonzalo Delfinado

Why not


From no carriers to laser armoured sensor fused jets in 60 seconds