The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) has awarded Lockheed Martin $26.3 million for the development of a high-power fibre laser.
AFRL will test the laser on a tactical fighter jet by 2021.
The contract is part of AFRL’s Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) programme, which includes three subsystems:
- SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects – the beam control system.
- Laser Pod Research and Development – the pod mounted on the jet.
- Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments – the high-energy laser.
“The development of high-power laser systems like SHiELD show laser weapon system technologies are becoming real. The technologies are ready to be produced, tested, and deployed on aircraft, ground vehicles, and ships,” said Lockheed Martin.