Air Force F-35s, F-15s and F-16s Might Soon Have Laser Weapons

Air Force F-35s, F-15s and F-16s Might Soon Have Laser Weapons
Lockheed Martin

That could be a really big deal. Let us tell you why.

In April 23, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) tested a fiber-optic laser at the White Sands Test Range in New Mexico that successfully shot down “multiple air-launched missiles in flight.”

The Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHIELD), pictured here, currently exists as a bulky, ground-based demonstrator. However, the Air Force is optimistic that SHIELD can be shrunk to a small pod that could be tested on an F-15 fighter by 2021 and eventually integrated also integrated into F-16 and F-35 single-engine fighters. Some sources suggest the system may see its first flight tests on C-17 or C-130 cargo planes later in 2019.

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