Contracts Awarded to Develop Laser Pods that Shoot Down Missiles

Discussion in 'Military Aviation' started by asianobserve, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Mike Hoffman
    Defensetech
    October 30, 2013


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    The U.S. handed out two contracts Monday to Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin to develop laser pods that can be mounted on aircraft and shoot down missiles.

    Under Project Endurance, Northrop Grumman received a $14.6 million contract and Lockheed Martin received $11.4 million to develop laser weapons to protect manned and unmanned aircraft. Project Endurance was included in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) fiscal year 2014 budget.

    Endurance was born out of DARPA’s Excalibur program in which engineers have worked to “develop coherent optical phased array technologies to enable scalable laser weapons that are 10 times lighter and more compact than existing high-power chemical laser systems,” according to a DARPA release.

    Research on lasers has advanced to such a point the military feels ready to install them aboard aircraft and utilize them as a key defense system.

    Of course, this is certainly not the first time the military has tried to build laser weapons onto aircraft. There was the ill fated Airborne Laser program that was engineered to shoot down ballistic missiles. However, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates ended up doing most of the shooting when he killed the program along with other that he deemed unrealistic and too expensive.

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    Read more: http://defensetech.org/2013/10/30/c...-pods-that-shoot-down-missiles/#ixzz2jPVROtN1
    Defense.org
     
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  3. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    All programs will eventually restart under a different name.
     
  4. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    That's the American way. If their program hits and obstacle and could no longer progress given the time and budget alloted they shut it down. Then they evaluate and lessons learned from the closed program. These lessons are picked up for application to new programs.
     
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  5. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Can this laser neutralize multiple threats at a time ?? Guess that's too advanced to discuss now ???
     
  6. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Although it's too early to tell, but judging from the above article it will be reasonable to conclude that the system will operate in similar fashion as the cancelled YAL-1 project. Only that the system being developed now is miniaturised. So as YAL-1 has the potential to engage multiple targets this one should also have the same capability. Besides, what's the point of installing this defensive system if it can easily be defeated by multiple launches.

    Based on how I understood YAL-1 operates, the first phase is the detection of the target by infrared sensors on board the aircraft. After the target is detected the first low-energy laser will track it. Then a second low-energy laser is fired at the target to measure and compensate for atmospheric disturbance. Finally, a high-energy laser is fired at the target to destroy it.
     

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