Thursday, June 30, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Science & Technology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  

Did you know that you can now support us on Patreon ?

You can subscribe for less than the cost of a cup of coffee - and we'll even throw in a range of exclusive perks as a way to say thank you.
Science & Technology

'Star Wars' laser weapons on jets by 2020

December 18, 2015 | Comment icon 9 comments



A concept image for the upcoming HELLADS laser system. Image Credit: DARPA
The US Air Force is planning to equip its planes with high-tech laser weapons within only five years.
The laser blasters of the Star Wars universe might seem light years ahead of today's technology, but according to the US Air Force it won't be long before we start to see real-life laser weapons being used by jet aircraft to take down targets during actual military operations.

Powerful lasers have already been tested out aboard US Navy ships as a way to deter drones or smaller vessels and the same technology can also be used to destroy incoming missiles.

"'It really is a national tipping point," said Kelly Hammett of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. "We see the technology evolving and maturing to the stage where it really can be used."
Directed-energy weapons pods mounted to a jet fighter could prove highly advantageous by enabling the pilot to attack multiple targets while keeping ammunition costs to a minimum.

There are even plans to implement a form of defensive shielding on aircraft that would also use laser weapons to automatically destroy any missiles within a certain radius of the plane.

The front runner for these technologies is the High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) which should be ready for use in actual aircraft within the next five years.

"The goal of the HELLADS program is to develop a 150 kilowatt (kW) laser weapon system that is ten times smaller and lighter than current lasers of similar power, enabling integration onto tactical aircraft to defend against and defeat ground threats," DARPA wrote.

Source: Mail Online | Comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by EBE Hybrid 7 years ago
150KW laser is going to need a Kick-Ass battery, I hope that the charger doesn't overheat!!
Comment icon #2 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 7 years ago
Phew! Technology!
Comment icon #3 Posted by morphiouse1 7 years ago
surely if a drone or plain had reflective coatings then the laser would deflect away.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Talion78 7 years ago
Good job is I invented my Multiple Integrity Resonance Ray Optical Reflector.......or M.I.R.R.O.R for short.
Comment icon #5 Posted by DieChecker 7 years ago
As a Star Wars geek, I disagree with the use of Star Wars to describe laser weapons. Since almost all weapons in the Star Wars sci-fi universe are "blaster" weapons, which fire a energized ionized packet of particles, which travel only a little over the speed of sound. Still, I find the use of lasers to be kind of cool. I think the point defense usage will be much more effective then trying to use huge lasers on ground targets.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
Still, I find the use of lasers to be kind of cool. I think the point defense usage will be much more effective then trying to use huge lasers on ground targets. I think you are right about its use being mostly for point defence......... and that lasers are cool ! The reason why lasers are unlikely to have wider applications are three-fold: 1. Laser beams scatter when they pass through the air and loses its power quite rapidly. It has troble penetrating fog and smoke, even clouds diminish the power of a laser. 2. Laser beams can only stay focused over limited distances and after that they will... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nnicolette 7 years ago
I think this will be very useful when it comes to space travel and avoiding space debris. Well actually it wouldn't work in space would it? Shame all our government would think of is weapons of course.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
I think this will be very useful when it comes to space travel and avoiding space debris. Well actually it wouldn't work in space would it? Shame all our government would think of is weapons of course. Lasers do indeed have great potential for space travel and debris removal. In fact lasers work better in space because there is no athmosphere. One thing about lasers in space is that they are actually invisible. When you see laser in science fiction movies they would not be visible in the real world, but thats fine by me anyway because of the "rule of cool".
Comment icon #9 Posted by DieChecker 7 years ago
The Navy did use a huge laser to blast an incoming (dummy) missile last year I think. So the military does have huge lasers, and probably ways to power them. But they aren't well suited to rigorous battlefield conditions in my opinion. They need a big platform like a big ship, or military installation to function properly.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


 Total Posts: 7,286,757    Topics: 299,748    Members: 197,551

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles