Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp has released the short video that showed battlefield-ready laser system that will enable users to neutralize threats at the speed of a lightning strike.
Video shared on Twitter said that at sea, in the air and on the ground, Lockheed Martin is developing laser weapon systems to protect warfighters on the battlefield. Combined with expert platform integration, these systems are designed to defeat a growing range of threats to military forces and infrastructure.
The company’s technology today is ready to defend against small rockets, artillery shells and mortars, small unmanned aerial vehicles, small attack boats and lightweight ground vehicles that are approximately a mile way. As fiber laser power levels increase, systems will be able to disable larger threats and do so across greater distances. When operated in conjunction with kinetic energy systems, these systems can serve as a force multiplier.
In terms of capability, the airborne laser system will be have ability to shoot down missiles with speed-of-light technology will enable air operation in denied environments.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has been working on such a program, called the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator Advanced Technology Demonstration Program, or SHiELD, since at least 2013. The Air Force had originally planned to begin flight testing of a complete prototype system on a fighter jet in 2021, but test of an airborne laser weapon aboard a fighter jet has been delayed until 2023 due to technical challenges and complications spurred by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Defense News.
Plans call for the laser to be mounted as a pod under the wings or the fuselage on fighter jets and B-1B bomber to defend against surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.