Technology 2 min read

US Air Force To Arm Fighter Jets With Laser Weapon

The air force is about to jump into the next era of sci fi weaponry with its new laser weaponry.  | Sajid Ali / Pexels

The air force is about to jump into the next era of sci fi weaponry with its new laser weaponry. | Sajid Ali / Pexels

First introduced in 2017, the U.S. Navy unveiled a futuristic cannon mounted on a transport vehicle. Back then, the media dubbed it the world’s first active Laser Weapon System (LaWS). Now, the Air Force is joining the trend.

According to the National Interests, the Air Force intends to equip all its fighter jets, including the F-35, with laser weapons as early as the first quarter of 2020.

Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator Program (SHIELD)

Following the release of the Pentagon’s missile defense review, the details of the laser project came out this month.

According to the document, which outlined strategic plans on keeping US citizens safe from enemy missiles, the laser is expected to function mid-air. Sounds too futuristic, right?

But here is the thing, the laser project has been in development for a while now.

The United States Air Force Research Lab could be leading the world in the development of Laser weapon technology. Operating from Kirtland Air Force Base, the research focuses on “high power electromagnetics, weapons modeling and simulation, and directed energy and electro-optics.”

Also, there is the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator Program (SHIELD), whose goal is to equip fighter jets with the ability to heat enemy fighter jets using an onboard laser.

What Advantage Does Laser System Have Over The Conventional Weaponry?

According to a post on Wired, a laser system could enable fighter jets take out enemy targets without destroying their aircraft. Also, since the technology is precise, it poses less risk to civilian lives on the ground below.

Based on reports on the National Interest, the Research Lab has been conducting test fires from the ground. Now they are ready to take it to the air and test it during flights.

Read More: US to Officially Create Military Space Force

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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