SHIELD airborne system's high-energy laser soon ready for testing

Since the mid-60s, increasingly modern anti-aircraft defenses have continued to pose a growing threat to air forces, and to armies which, like Western forces, base most of their firepower on this component. The Vietnam War, then that of Yom Kippur, made the staffs aware of this threat, leading to the design of new aircraft designed to challenge these systems, either based on stealth like the F-117A Nighthawk, or on the low-altitude, high-speed penetration like the Tornado, the Su-24, the F-111. The Gulf War...

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DARPA wants to allow KC-46 tanker planes to recharge drone batteries with a high-energy laser

The Pentagon's innovation agency, DARPA, has issued a request for proposals regarding the possibility of equipping US Air Force KC-36 and KC-135 tanker aircraft with a high-energy laser pod capable of transfer energy to drones in flight, so as to extend their autonomy and lighten their energy storage devices. DARPA, the U.S. Armed Forces Innovation Agency, issued a request for information on June 13 regarding a device capable of transferring energy between a tanker aircraft, such as the KC-46 or KC-135, and a drone in flight, through a high-energy laser embedded in a…

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US Air Force to test high-energy laser from AC-130J Ghostrider gunship

At the start of the Vietnam War, the US Air Force deployed a new concept of combat aircraft, the Gunship, initially a World War II C-47 Dakota transport oat loaded with port machine guns and intended to support forces ground infantry engaged in fierce combat against the Viet Cong adversary. Thus was born the AC-47 Spooky, which became one of the main weapons of the Air Commando Squadron. But it quickly became clear that the C-47 was too vulnerable for this mission as the intensity of the fighting increased, with no less than 19 aircraft destroyed, including 12 by enemy fire, out of the 41 aircraft...

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The US Army tests the Stryker DE M-SHORAD armed with a 50 Kw laser

Directed energy weapons, such as hypersonic weapons, have been two absolute technological priorities for the American armies in recent years in an attempt to catch up with the technological dynamics imposed by Beijing and Moscow. If the hypersonic programs encounter problems, the programs of the US Army, the US Navy and the US Air Force concerning the short-term implementation of anti-drone, anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems based on directed energy weapons are advancing in accordance with the very ambitious planning imposed by the Pentagon. This is how, last week, the US Army announced that a first test of engagement “in a combat situation” had been…

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Will the F35 receive a high energy laser weapon?

The American F35 fighter is far from devoid of weaknesses, but it does have two undeniable qualities, namely its high-performance info-centric architecture coupled with a panoply of sensors covering a wide spectrum, and its super-powerful F-135 engine, which develops almost 13 tons of thrust dry, and 19 tons with afterburner. These two elements make it the perfect candidate to receive the new directed energy weapons being developed in the United States, and in particular a high-energy laser, as part of the US Air Force's SHIELD program. One of the executive directors of the American manufacturer has indeed…

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The vulnerability of tankers worries the US Air Force

There are no hunters without supply ships! This phrase “No fighters Without Tankers” alone sums up one of the main doctrines of the US Air Force over the past 60 years. Indeed, with the Vietnam War, the United States, and in particular the US Air Force, understood the decisive role of these devices, but also of electronic intelligence aircraft or air surveillance aircraft, to use the most effectively possible an air force. Today, the US Air Force alone operates 614 aircraft specially dedicated to aerial refueling, representing 77% of all aircraft of this type in the world. But for…

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US Department of Defense defines blueprint for directed energy weapons

According to the Pentagon, directed-energy weapons, such as high-energy lasers and microwave weapons, are set to become prevalent in the coming years on board warships, armored vehicles and even aircraft. Beyond the technological pitfalls that remain to be overcome, particularly in terms of energy production, the Department of Defense has taken the initiative to entrust one of the veterans of the US Navy's on-board laser programs, Christopher Behre, with the drafting of a technical master plan, which will serve as a framework for all the developments of these weapon systems in the American armies,…

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China to develop laser protection pod for aircraft

According to the site globaltimes.cn, quoting the site specializing in Chinese defense equipment weain.mil.cn, the Chinese armies have undertaken the development of a “Laser attack pod” intended to equip aircraft in service. It appears that according to the terminology used, this pod would probably be intended to protect these same aircraft by intercepting air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles targeting them using a high-powered laser beam, and not a guidance system for them. air-to-ground ammunition. This announcement is reminiscent of the SHIELD system under development in the US Air Force, also intended to act as an active anti-missile protection system, or…

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US Air Force tests SHIELD aircraft laser protection system

The US Air Force tested this April 23 at White Sand Air Force Base in New Mexico, the new laser system intended to protect aircraft from SHIELD missiles, for Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (perfect acronym, is not he not?). The test was carried out on the ground, and consisted of intercepting several missiles launched in the direction of the test site. As with the US Army and US Navy programs, SHIELD plans for operational use between 2021 and 2025, initially to equip the F15 Strike Eagles in a version contained in a pod. But here again, the production of energy represents a decisive issue, knowing…

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