The United States Air Force (USAF) recently concluded a test of a laser weapons system that shot down several airborne missiles.
The trial took place on 23 April at the White Sands testing area in New Mexico, where the system downed the projectiles using so-called Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD).
The technology is currently operated from the ground, but the finalised version of the Lockheed Martin weapons system is expected to be fitted onto aircraft in future.
The weapon will enable of USAF fighters to intercept air-to-air and ground-to-air missiles.
The goal of the SHiELD program awarded to the company in 2017 is to equip a F-15 Eagle fighter jet with a defensive laser pod by 2021, Air Force Magazine reported on April 23.
According to Defense News, Lockheed Martin is developing the 2021 weapon system. The pod will involve a fiber laser in the “tens” of kilowatts, while Northrop Grumman is developing the beam control system. Boeing will develop the pod that carries the laser weapon.
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