F-35 High Energy Laser

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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Dragon029

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Unread post20 Apr 2015, 13:27

popcorn wrote:That Gen 3 laser module occupies .26 cuM based on this article.
http://news.thomasnet.com/companystory/ ... n-20042920
The recently certified Gen 3 laser assembly is very compact at only 1.3 x 0.4 x 0.5 meters. The system is powered by a compact Lithium-ion battery supply designed to demonstrate a deployable architecture for tactical platforms.


I think they're referring to the actual lasing section of the module (the black frame area where 1 or 2 lasing systems go), not the entire pod / system. If you look at this picture for example:

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There's a person standing about 2 or 3 feet away and it appears as if the width of the system is about 2.5 feet, while the height of the lower trusses appear to perhaps be 1 foot height and the length of the system is perhaps 10-12 feet.
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Unread post21 Apr 2015, 10:49

Dragon029 wrote:
popcorn wrote:That Gen 3 laser module occupies .26 cuM based on this article.
http://news.thomasnet.com/companystory/ ... n-20042920
The recently certified Gen 3 laser assembly is very compact at only 1.3 x 0.4 x 0.5 meters. The system is powered by a compact Lithium-ion battery supply designed to demonstrate a deployable architecture for tactical platforms.


I think they're referring to the actual lasing section of the module (the black frame area where 1 or 2 lasing systems go), not the entire pod / system. If you look at this picture for example:

Image

There's a person standing about 2 or 3 feet away and it appears as if the width of the system is about 2.5 feet, while the height of the lower trusses appear to perhaps be 1 foot height and the length of the system is perhaps 10-12 feet.

Point noted... so likely closer to 3 X .26cuM = .78cuM
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post21 Apr 2015, 11:07

The post over the page kindly provided by 'taog' is now free to the pubicks here - AvWeak are such teezers (said the firecat): http://aviationweek.com/technology/gene ... -now-ready
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Unread post18 May 2015, 10:14

LONG article - best read at source.
Laser Planes: Air Force Fighter To Fire 100 kW By 2022
18 May 2015 Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

"PENTAGON: By 2022, the US Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from an airplane. And not just any airplane, Air Force Research Laboratory officials made clear on Thursday. In stark contrast to the megawatt Airborne Laser cancelled in 2011, which filled a converted 747, the 2022 demonstration will be fired from a fighter.

Star Wars fans, calm down: This isn’t a real-world X-Wing. It probably won’t even be an F-35A, the planned mainstay of the future Air Force, because that’s a stealth aircraft that carries its weapons internally to reduce its profile on radar, while the 2022 weapon will be built into an external weapons pod....

...A typical modern fighter like the F-16 can carry at most six air-to-air missiles. Shoot six times, hit or miss, and it’s back to base to re-arm. By contrast, said Gunzinger, a laser-armed aircraft could just head back to the tanker. “Instead of landing to reload, air refueling would ‘reload’ [laser]-equipped aircraft in flight,” he said. They could keep fighting until the pilot couldn’t take it any more — or, if unmanned, for longer than any human could endure.

“There are several developmental lasers, including HELLADS, that are making great progress” towards making a weapon compact enough for an aircraft, Gunzinger told me. “Aircraft-based laser weapons could be a near-term reality.”...

...From space, from the air, or from the surface, lasers have genuinely revolutionary potential. “The term game changing is thrown around pretty loosely,” Deptula said, but here it fits. “Since Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier, in the late forties, we’ve been engaging at the speed of sound,” he told me. Now the US, Russia, and China are all developing hypersonic weapons that can travel at Mach 5 or more. But with lasers, he said, “now you’re talking about engaging at the speed of light.”"

Photo/Artwork: "Air Force artwork of a future dogfight with lasers." http://breakingdefense.com/wp-content/u ... 00-001.jpg


Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2015/05/lase ... s-by-2022/
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Unread post18 May 2015, 17:36

spazsinbad wrote:LONG article - best read at source.
Laser Planes: Air Force Fighter To Fire 100 kW By 2022
18 May 2015 Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

"PENTAGON: By 2022, the US Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from an airplane. And not just any airplane, Air Force Research Laboratory officials made clear on Thursday. In stark contrast to the megawatt Airborne Laser cancelled in 2011, which filled a converted 747, the 2022 demonstration will be fired from a fighter.

Star Wars fans, calm down: This isn’t a real-world X-Wing. It probably won’t even be an F-35A, the planned mainstay of the future Air Force, because that’s a stealth aircraft that carries its weapons internally to reduce its profile on radar, while the 2022 weapon will be built into an external weapons pod....

...A typical modern fighter like the F-16 can carry at most six air-to-air missiles. Shoot six times, hit or miss, and it’s back to base to re-arm. By contrast, said Gunzinger, a laser-armed aircraft could just head back to the tanker. “Instead of landing to reload, air refueling would ‘reload’ [laser]-equipped aircraft in flight,” he said. They could keep fighting until the pilot couldn’t take it any more — or, if unmanned, for longer than any human could endure.

“There are several developmental lasers, including HELLADS, that are making great progress” towards making a weapon compact enough for an aircraft, Gunzinger told me. “Aircraft-based laser weapons could be a near-term reality.”...

...From space, from the air, or from the surface, lasers have genuinely revolutionary potential. “The term game changing is thrown around pretty loosely,” Deptula said, but here it fits. “Since Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier, in the late forties, we’ve been engaging at the speed of sound,” he told me. Now the US, Russia, and China are all developing hypersonic weapons that can travel at Mach 5 or more. But with lasers, he said, “now you’re talking about engaging at the speed of light.”"

Photo/Artwork: "Air Force artwork of a future dogfight with lasers." http://breakingdefense.com/wp-content/u ... 00-001.jpg


Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2015/05/lase ... s-by-2022/


General Atomics Claims Laser Weapon Advance

Aviation Week & Space Technology , Feb 16, 2015 , Bill Sweetman

General Atomics (GA) has completed laboratory tests of what it calls its “third-generation laser system,” saying that the weapon sets new standards in efficiency, beam quality and system weight. According to an industry source, the company says the new laser will deliver 150 kw of energy, with three times higher beam quality than the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) now being tested by the U.S. Navy on the amphibious warfare ship Ponce, and will be able to fire 10 shots between 3-min.-long -recharges.

Moreover, the laser is being designed as part of a 3,000-lb. self-contained package that can be installed in the weapon/payload bay of the company’s Avenger turbofan-powered unmanned air vehicle. The same industry source suggests that GA’s technology is mature enough to fly on an Avenger within 18 months, given adequate funding.

According to analyst Mark Gunzinger of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a 150-kw laser “with decent beam quality” would be a step above previous electrically powered laser weapons, which have demonstrated the ability to engage targets such as mortar rounds and small unmanned air vehicles. The new weapon could be “effective against air-to-air missiles, and against cruise missiles using a crossing shot,” he surmises.

The new system—not yet formally named—has evolved from government-funded programs and is being developed with a mix of government and company money, according to Mike Perry, GA’s vice-president for laser and electro-optic systems. These programs include the High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (Hellads), still underway with the support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Army-sponsored Robust Electric Laser Initiative (Reli). GA’s Reli work was completed in 2013.

The latest Hellads demonstrator, a 150-kw weapon, is ready for delivery to Darpa, Perry says. It is due to be tested at White Sands (New Mexico) Missile Range, and by the end of the current fiscal year—the last in which work is funded—it should be moved to a mountaintop site to emulate airborne missions, including targeting of ground vehicles and aircraft self-defense.

The “third-generation” laser is more refined than Hellads, Perry says, although it uses technologies that have been integrated into the latest Hellads demonstrator. While not confirming specific figures, Perry says the beam quality—a measure of how tightly the beam is focused—is “the highest ever achieved on an electrically pumped laser” and that its power output is comparable to the 150-kW Hellads. However, the Hellads name is not being used for the new system, which employs a different lasing medium. Perry declines to say whether or not it is a liquid medium.

He says the system’s space, weight and power requirements are sized to the Avenger. GA has noted that the UAV has a 3,500-lb. payload and 20 kw of power available. This was not the initial target of the program, Perry says, but the UAV and laser programs were evolving in parallel. “The Avenger was a challenge, but if we could size it for the Avenger all other platforms would be easier.”

The engineering that remains to be done before the system can fly is “not in the laser,” Perry says, but in the platform integration and design of a beam director and a target acquisition system. GA, he believes, is “substantially ahead” of competitors using fiber lasers, partly because of experience gained in the Hellads program. Another industry source points out that an airborne laser is “a system of systems” including power conditioning and storage, cooling and optics as well as laser modules, and that these may be areas where GA has moved ahead of its rivals, in part because of in-house expertise with high-energy storage systems.

The timescale for future developments will depend on budgets, Perry says. The next step would be to ground-test a complete system, followed by integration into an aircraft. “We see the Avenger as the next step, but others see other platforms coming first. It will be determined by the customer.” The special-operations community, for example, has proposed several different approaches to develop for a pallet-mounted laser that could be installed on a C-130.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, meanwhile, is pushing UAV-borne lasers for target discrimination as an interim step toward the much higher-power levels needed for interception. The MDA is requesting $285.8 million in fiscal 2016-20 for “weapons technology,” according to budget documents, and the aim is to “build the foundation for the next-generation UAV-borne laser system, capable of tracking and eventually destroying the enemy at a much lower cost than the existing missile defense system.” Of that, about $45 million is expected in fiscal 2016.

MDA Director Vice Adm. James Syring was tight-lipped about the work during a Feb. 2 briefing. “At the power levels we’re talking about today, forward discrimination and tracking in the near term” are possible missions, he said. “Due to the classification level, I’d just like to leave it at that for today.”

A December 2014 report by the Congressional Research Service summarizes estimates of the effectiveness of different laser power levels against different target classes, as published by a number of sources over the past 10 years. Most agree that guided missiles start to become vulnerable as power exceeds 100 kw if the beam quality remains high. One important issue is that the power of the laser is only one element of its “target fluence,” which according to Gunzinger’s 2012 report for the CSBA is defined as the amount of energy that a laser device can concentrate on a desired spot on a target over a specific distance. Fluence is affected by beam quality, jitter and atmospheric absorption and scattering.

The effectiveness of a laser weapon will also depend on the hardness of the target and the kill mechanism. For instance, a missile aimed at an aircraft could be defeated at close range and short time-to-impact if its radome (already under thermal and aerodynamic stress) is destroyed, as postulated in a number of research papers. That damage would both destroy the missile’s seeker and destabilize it aerodynamically, and a relatively small miss distance is needed to prevent damage to the aircraft. Defending a ship against an anti-ship cruise missile may mean more power and range to ensure that missile fragments and fuel do not hit the ship. Says the CSBA’s Gunzinger: The earlier Hellads is believed to use liquid-cooled slab laser modules.

──────────────────────────

"...The “third-generation” laser is more refined than Hellads ..."
- General Atomics engineers say that they’ve gotten it down to just 4 kilograms per kilowatt.(Hellads is 5kg/kw)
(http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aero ... t-anything)

And AFRL 2014 PDF:
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Unread post18 May 2015, 22:49

Do you have a link to the source PDF? I wouldn't mind seeing what else is talked about.

Edit: Found it.
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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 20:38

USAF holding old gunships for laser demos
28 Jul 2015 James Drew

"...He says the air force is looking for airborne lasers for integration into a standard pod or conformal tank for laser demonstrations. “It’s past the time to test these in the labs; we need it in the field,” he says.

Harris says laser weapons probably won’t find their way onto the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter any time soon, but might be integrated in the future beyond the Block 4 rollout, which is due to add new capabilities to the fifth-generation jet from 2019 to 2025."

Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... os-415101/
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Unread post30 Jul 2015, 14:22

Kendall: Energy Weapons Ideal, But Not Ready For Tactical Air Defense
Defense Daily


Directed energy weapons would be ideal for countering many of the anti-access, area-denial threats that peer nations pose to the United States in wartime, but technology has not progressed to the point where those weapons are operationally useful, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer said Tuesday.

Since the U.S. military in 1991 demonstrated the capability of its precision munitions during the first Gulf War, potential competitors like China, Russia and Iran have invested in similar systems, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) Frank Kendall said at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) and Booz Allen Hamilton [BAH] Directed Energy Summit outside Washington.
"The problems that we are facing are the very problems that directed energy systems have been envisioned as addressing for a long, long time," Kendall said. "In particular, precision missiles, cruise and ballistic."
Sophisticated ballistic and cruise missiles have become less expensive and have, therefore, proliferated to less advanced countries and non-state actors. That proliferation makes U.S. ships and ground forces vulnerable to attack and defending against missiles with terminal guidance using missile interceptors is prohibitively expensive, he said.
"What China is buying, or well on their way to buying, is a suite of capabilities designed to keep us out of their part of the world," Kendall said. That includes anti-ship missiles that would keep U.S. amphibious assault vessels too far offshore to launch Marines or aircraft carriers to launch air strikes in the event of a forced invasion, hence 'anti-access, area denial.'
"Air defenses are something we haven't focused on in recent years, because we tend to control the air," he said. In 1991, the U.S. was safely atop the technological heap with its monopoly on precision munitions technology. The world of missile technology is now much more level, Kendall said.
Instead of buying "fairly low numbers of very expensive things" that gave the U.S a decisive technological advantage in past conflicts, "the idea now is to buy fairly large number of inexpensive things and use them in a different way," Kendall said.
Whereas conventional anti-missile interceptors can cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars apiece, a single shot from the laser weapons system (LaWS) cost about a dollar. Laser weapons also let commanders dial up or down the intensity of the shot to deal with threats of varying lethality, giving them the ability to "deter, disable or destroy," a target with a single system.

There are major technological hurdles that need to be overcome before lasers or high-powered microwave weapons are able to destroy an incoming missile in flight, however. The main challenges involve the size, weight and power requirements for current systems.
The Navy is 2012 mounted a prototype laser on a destroyer and demonstrated the ability to shoot down a "soft drone" - one without weapons or countermeasures - during an exercise on a clear, cloudless day. Last year, LaWS, a similar system, was made operational and deployed aboard the USS Ponce afloat forward staging base in the Arabian Gulf.
Scaling the system up to a higher intensity could flip the cost-of-defense paradigm of defending against relatively inexpensive, highly sophisticated anti-ship missiles back in favor of the US, said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.
"From these successes, I recognized the potential utility and cost-effectiveness of directed energy weapons across the full range of military operations," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at the summit.
That system still requires massive equipment to provide power and cool the laser. Those subsystems, though still fairly inexpensive compared to traditional munitions, are often three to four times the size of the actual laser, said Rich Bagnell, who manages the self-protect high-energy laser demonstration at the Air Force Research Laboratory's directed energy directorate.
"I believe we have much of the technology in hand, or nearly in hand, for us to be able to handle the self-defense mission," he said. "The laser is no longer the long goal. It's power and thermal. ... We have a lot of work to do on the subsystems."
LaWS and other laser weapons in operation, like the Marine Corps' ground-based area defense laser, operate at about 30 kilowatts of energy. In order for a laser to effectively "kill" incoming missiles it needs to emit about 100-150 kilowatts, Bagnell said.
The Office of Naval Research is feeding lessons from USS Ponce into the Navy's solid state laser (SSL) technology maturation program, which is aiming to produce a 100-150 kilowatt laser prototype for at-sea testing in 2018. The Navy, in the meantime, has decided to extend the LaWS deployment indefinitely.

Because Navy ships are large and have huge turbine or nuclear powerplants, Mabus said the service is the perfect host for large directed energy prototypes.
The Navy is "best-positioned to address these obstacles right now," he said. "The size, weight, power, and cooling required by contemporary directed energy systems makes naval vessels the platform of choice for operationalizing the technology. Our ships are big enough to host large, heavy weapons, our gas turbines and nuclear reactors can provide the magnitude of power necessary to make these weapons effective and we have all the saltwater in the world and the air in its atmosphere for cooling."
Energy could also soon replace traditional explosive propellents that are heavy, take up space and are volatile aboard ship. The Navy's electromagnetic rail gun, after decades of overhyped, underdelivered promise, is nearing fruition.
"The railgun has been a long time coming," Mabus said. The service already has successfully tested a 32-joule prototype that can hurl a metal projectile with the power of 11 pounds of C4, which translates to a 23-pound projectile accelerating from 0 to 5,000 miles per hour - seven times the speed of sound - in 1/1000th of a second and can strike targets as ranges up to 100 miles.
"As a point of comparison, the Navy’s current 5-inch gun has a range of 13 miles, its rounds weigh 100 pounds, and their explosive nature makes them more precarious to store and handle," Mabus said.
In 2015, the Navy will mount a similar weapon aboard a joint high speed vessel, the USNS Trenton, to gauge its operational utility at sea. Plans are to fire 20 projectiles at targets 25 to 50 miles out.

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Unread post30 Jul 2015, 18:12

[quote="taog...: By 2022, the US Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from an airplane. .... It probably won’t even be an F-35A, ....]while the 2022 weapon will be built into an external weapons pod[/b].......][/quote]

...where does the "extra 100+ KW" source from, not the F-135..within the stealth lines of the F-35... :?:
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Unread post30 Jul 2015, 18:29

Store energy in capacitors, batteries, etc
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post30 Jul 2015, 18:42

Some of the potential solutions for both a Pod, and an integrated DEW are provided in the pdf's on the first page of the thread. Industry has been doing some fairly substantial work when it comes to feeding power and managing the thermal footprint..
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Unread post06 Aug 2015, 15:24

Laser Technology Heads For Key Tests

The U.S. Army announced in February that it would hold a November come-as-you-are shoot-off—formally known as the High-Energy Laser Industry Live-Fire Technology Demonstration—at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. Prizes of $1-5 million will be awarded to qualifying participants who turn up with a mobile system (defined as usable by an Army Brigade Combat Team) and do the best against a range of targets, including UAVs and mortar rounds, under successively more challenging scenarios.

The test will follow trials of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (Darpa) High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (Hellads) demonstrator, which is already at WSMR “in the throes of integration” according to a Darpa official, and should be ready to fire “within the next couple of months.”

So far, the Army has received only one response to its invitation, says Brig. Gen. Neil Thurgood, the service’s program executive officer for missiles and space. This is most likely from General Atomics, which has disclosed work on a “third-generation” laser weapon, an outgrowth of Hellads designed to deliver 150 kW with high-beam quality from a 3,000-lb. package, including power conditioning and cooling subsystems. The company says it “may participate” in the November tests.



The Army’s work is being matched by the U.S. Navy. Following the successful demonstration of a 30-kW Laser Weapon System (LaWS) on the amphibious dockship USS Ponce—initially intended as a one-year effort but now being extended through the remainder of the ship’s deployment—the Office of Naval Research (ONR) expects to issue a contract “in the very near future” for a similar at-sea demonstration of a 100-150-kW laser for 2018-19, according to Rear Adm. Bryant Fuller, deputy commander for naval engineering at Sea Systems Command.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus adds that the service “is trying to shrink the time line” for the high-power laser project, which appears to have superseded ONR’s work on a free electron laser weapon, the budget for which was “realigned” in 2015. It will also contribute to the plan for a Marine Corps GBAD-DE On The Move demonstrator, for a weapons-power laser installed on a Humvee-sized vehicle.

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is sponsoring two new laser technologies that will take the output of electrically powered lasers to the next level: the diode-pumped alkali laser (DPAL) from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the fiber-combining laser (FCL) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. Both stand at a technology readiness level (TRL) of “3-4,” says MDA chief engineer Keith Englander, “and need to be at TRL 6 for a flight demonstration,” which could take place after 2020. In 2016, Lincoln Laboratory plans to start building a new FCL, driving the weight of the system down from 5 kg/kW to 1 kg/kW, while Livermore intends to demonstrate a DPAL system at 30 kW.

MDA is looking at doing boost-phase intercepts from high-altitude unmanned platforms, Englander says, because—firing upwards from stratospheric altitudes—the system needs less power than the abortive megawatt-class Airborne Laser demonstrator. The agency sponsored the final five flight tests of Boeing’s Phantom Eye UAV, and Boeing has talked about larger versions of the aircraft with payloads of 2,000 lb. or more.



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Unread post07 Aug 2015, 23:01

The now old idea of replacing the LiftFan with a laser gubbins seems to have been lost - mebbe someone will find it again. Anyway a long article best read at source.
Air Force Moves Aggressively On Lasers
07 Aug 2015 Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

"TYSON’S CORNER: All branches of the military really want laser weapons. But they don’t all want them for the same missions. What struck me after a recent conference here was how differently the US Air Force is approaching lasers.

The USAF is pursing a two-pronged approach: They want to mount lasers on both the large AC-130 gunship and a smaller fighter, probably the relatively roomy F-15E Strike Eagle. Neither prong leads to the kind of missile defense system that’s the holy grail for the Army and the Navy. Instead, the Air Force wants lasers, initially, to shoot down incoming anti-aircraft weapons and, ultimately, to attack both flying and ground targets.

All told, both the technical hurdles and the tactical applications for the Air Force are significantly more challenging than the other services’ laser efforts.

“They are trying to do the hardest thing first,” future warfare expert Mark Gunzinger told me.

Technically, it’s a lot easier to fit a laser weapon on a ground base, a Navy ship, or even an Army truck than in an airplane, especially one as small as a fighter, where every ounce counts and every component vibrates during flight....

...Because lasers can fire an infinite number of light-speed shots, they’re ideal for intercepting high-speed threats. The Air Force is hardly blind to their defensive value. But the Air Force perspective on defense is narrower than the Army’s or Navy’s: Rather than try to protect a ship, a base, or a fleet, the USAF focuses on self-protection of the individual aircraft carrying the laser. (Indeed, aircraft already carry low-power infra-red lasers — DIRCM and LAIRCM — that can blind some heat-seeking missiles, although not radar-guided ones). Such defenses could keep aircraft alive in the danger zones of a Chinese-style “anti-access/area denial” defense.

The Air Force also sees lasers as multi-purpose offensive/defensive weapons that can fire in a low-power mode for self-defense, then dial up to a non-lethal offensive mode — burning out sensors or engines, for example — or all the way to “kill.”...

...The Air Force, however, is focused on fighters. That’s a tighter fit than gunships or bombers, so the Air Force Research Laboratory has a relatively cautious three-phase plan, AFRL commander Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello said at the conference:

1. A defensive system with “tens of kilowatts” of power called SHIELD, the Self-protected HIgh-Energy Laser Demonstration. It will be demonstrated circa 2020.

2. A longer-range defensive system with 100 kilowatts of power, to be demonstrated in 2022.

3. A 300-kilowatt offensive system capable of destroying enemy aircraft and ground targets at long range.

All these systems will be weapons pods or other external add-ons to existing aircraft, not “fully integrated” inside the airframe like a gun or radar, Masiello cautioned. That means radar-evading aircraft like the F-35 or F-22 couldn’t use them without sacrificing stealth. “We’re talking decades to have some sort of a 300-kw laser possibly integrated into a fighter,” he said...."

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2015/08/air- ... on-lasers/
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Unread post17 Aug 2015, 14:05

More laser stuff. Targeting missiles in boost phase when they are most vulnerable. Likely decades away though.
http://breakingdefense.com/2015/08/retu ... ser-drone/
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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