United States Air Force (USAF) announced last week that they have made a successful test for a laser shooting system in order to shoot down the multiple missiles when in flight. This system will ultimately be attached over the aircraft for being sued in protection of vehicles from any attacks by missiles.
The test was first conducted back in April by the USAF’s Air Force Research Laboratory at the location of US Army White Sands Missile Range located in New Mexico.
The system is named as SHiELD (Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator). The system was used in the test for shooting down multiple missiles launched in the air from the ground.
According to William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory’s commander Major General, this test is a big step ahead in the energy systems and their use for protecting the army’s assets from any adversarial threats.
Army’s intention is to mount this system over the aircraft and they will then be used to shoot down any incoming surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. The laser system is composed of 3 following components.
- A laser system
- A control system for aiming
- A pod for powering up everything needed in the shooting system (this pod will be mounted on the aircraft)
The system was under working process for quite some time as it began back in 2016. The USAF issued the contract for the system to the famed aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin back in 2017. After the successful testing phases completed, both Lockheed Martin and the Air force Research Laboratory will work in combined efforts to miniaturize this technology so it could be mounted on aircraft with ease.
Currently, SHiELD is not the only laser technology that is being tested under the US military. Back in the summer of 2018, US Military both tested as well as mounted a system over the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. In addition to this, the US Navy is also working on its own attack system for their warships which are also being carried out by the Lockheed Martin.