Air Force Eyes Laser-Shooting Combat Aircraft By 2020; Gen. Hawk Carlisle Comments

Air-Force-logoThe U.S. Air Force could start to use laser weapons in combat missions within five years, Ars Technica reported Friday.

Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle told the Air Force Association Air & Space Conference this week he believes directed-energy weapons pods could be installed in a fighter plane “very soon,“ Sean Gallagher reports.

“That day is a lot closer than I think a lot of people think it is,“ he added.

Carlisle told the conference the laser weapon will work to target missiles, ground and air targets, and drones at lesser cost than other weapons systems, Ars Technica reports.General Atomics

According to the publication, Air Force leadership could look to place that weapon on General Atomics-made technology and specifically that company’s High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System.

HELLADS is a 150-plus kilowatt system under development with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The system is currently undergoing field trials and received a DARPA authorization in May.

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