US Air Force to employ laser-based fighter jets by 2030
Washington: The US Air Force is reportedly looking at employing laser-based fighter jets by 2030.
It is Air Force Research Laboratory`s (ARFL) initiative to develop laser weapons for next generation fighter jets, but may soon trigger the Navy and US Army to pursue similar programme.
According to the Business Insider, based on requirements, weapon elements will have to be ready for laboratory test by October 2014, while they must reach readiness for test on a plane and in a simulated operational environment by 2022.
For such weapons, three new laser devices are to be created, a small power marking laser, a medium power laser and a high power device, which would function as per their assigned powers.
The report said that the weapon is to be operable at up to 65,000 feet of altitude and within a speed envelope of Mach 0.6 - 2.5.
The US Air Force already used ABL on a 747 that was an anti-tactical missile weapon, based on Chemical Oxygen Iodine lasers, developed within a Boeing program, which was later cancelled, the report added.
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