U.S. Air Force released a request for the creation of a massive laser gun, which can be installed on the sixth-generation fighter aircraft (after 2030), reports usni.org November 20.
«The emphasis in this paper should be made possible by the development of the laser system, which in 2030-ies can be integrated in the promising fighter gains advantages in criteria air combat missions in the area of the strong opposition of enemy air defenses,» according to the request of the Research Laboratory Air Force (Air Force Research Laboratory — AFRL), posted on the website of the federal procurement FedBizOpps last week.
The laboratory is particularly interested in developing a «technology fifth level», which can be tested in a simulated environment. «Regardless of the type of applied research platform in the creation of the laser gun and beam control system currently being carried out in flight mode at altitudes up to 65 thousand feet above sea level (19,800 m) and a speed of 0.6 to 2.5 M,» according to message.
U.S. Air Force interested in developing a 3-class lasers. First laser is capable of dazzling sensors enemy, second — to destroy incoming enemy missiles, and the third — to destroy enemy aircraft and ground / sea targets.
Directed energy weapons tests on solid-state lasers are conducted on board an experienced ship USS Ponce (AFSB-(I) -1), their goal is to create a weapon capable of destroying the enemy’s small boats.
In the past year the Agency for U.S. missile defense and the U.S. Air Force tested a large chemical laser aboard a Boeing 747 aircraft upgraded to intercept ballistic missiles. Similar tests were also conducted on board the C-130H aircraft in 2009. If the project is successful ARFL, new laser cannon can be integrated on the next-generation fighter F / A-XX, which will vary Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (figure shows a concept for Lockheed Martin’s F-22 substitution Raptor).
U.S. Air Force ready to accept proposals from all companies that are interested in working in this field and will be able to provide projects with «a detailed description of technology», also make out a «rough estimate of costs» to create offensive laser guns.