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Science & Technology

DARPA to test out new airborne laser weapon

By T.K. Randall
May 26, 2015 · Comment icon 7 comments

An artist's mock-up of the HELLADS laser system being used by a fighter jet. Image Credit: DARPA
A sophisticated new laser defence system could soon be making its way on to drones and fighter jets.
Known as the High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), the new weapon has been in development for over a decade and wouldn't look out of place on the Millennium Falcon.

Headed up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the project's aim was to build a powerful, compact laser that could be used to defend aircraft during missions.

"The technical hurdles were daunting, but it is extremely gratifying to have produced a new type of solid-state laser with unprecedented power and beam quality for its size," said DARPA's Rich Bagnell.
One possible application for the system will be to mount it on the GA-ASI's new Avenger drone which uses a jet engine that can recharge the laser's battery in-flight thus enabling it to fire indefinitely.

"Enemy surface-to-air threats to manned and unmanned aircraft have become increasingly sophisticated," DARPA wrote on its website. "High power lasers can provide a solution to this challenge, as they harness the speed and power of light to counter multiple threats."

Testing of the new laser system is scheduled to begin in the summer.

Source: Russia Today | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
Isn't that same laser being reworked for surgery?
Comment icon #2 Posted by ancient astronaut 9 years ago
It's going to make "Pew Pew" sounds when fired.
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 9 years ago
My question. An article about a US laser system was in a Russian news source. What's wrong with that?
Comment icon #4 Posted by eddword 9 years ago
WOW! incidentally, The photo being shown,Is a B1 Bomber, Not a fighter jet. But it would probably a be more effective platform for carrying a laser.
Comment icon #5 Posted by nothinglizx2 9 years ago
Wow reminiscant of Real Genius, why didn't I hear "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" playing in the background?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Aardvark-DK 9 years ago
Were they not testing that on a cargo plane ? C130 or C17...
Comment icon #7 Posted by godnodog 9 years ago
They should mean more like a star trek weapon system, not star wars

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