New weapons systems for combat aircraft based lasers are being developed for quite some time. During the cold war were made the first attempts to create such aircraft. But only now, in the framework of the SHiELD (Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator) conducted with funding from the U.S. air force, Lockheed Martin will present the first samples of powerful and compact laser weapons that can be mounted on fighter jets by 2021.
It is worth noting that the company Lockheed Martin this year tested a portable ground-based laser installation ATHENA with a capacity of 30 kilowatts. The facility was successfully destroyed 5 drones Outlaw with a wingspan of 3.3 meters. Side laser, created in the framework of the SHiELD, will be developed on the basis of this portable laser. It will be installed on special turrets STRAFE (SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects), which can hold a focused laser beam at a certain point the attacked target. To power the laser energy will be used a high-capacity battery. As stated by the specialist in the field of laser weapons company Lockheed Martin, Rob Afzal,
“This year we have made several 60-kilowatt laser systems. Now we have a much more interesting and challenging task — to write such a laser system in box, available for use on a fighter plane. It is worth noting that our technologies allow to use laser weapons on ships and land vehicles. It remains only to Refine the technology in order that it could be used on fighter”.