The U.S. Air Force seeks information on the availability of directed energy weapons technology that can support an upcoming counter-unmanned aircraft system demonstration.
The service branch said Tuesday its Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Office will use data collected from the request for information as part of market research analyses under the Air Force Directed Energy Weapons Flight Plan.
“We identified directed energy as a game-changing technology area in our Air Force strategy and pressed forward with developing a Flight Plan to define what we needed to do to get from the laboratory to operational capability,” said Greg Zacharias, chief scientist of the Air Force.
“We’re looking to assess capabilities and maturity of directed energy technologies available today and in the near-term,” said Michael Jirjis, program manager of the experimentation campaign.
SPDE plans to kick off the experimentation campaign in fiscal year 2018.
The Air Force noted it seeks directed energy weapons such as high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves to engage targets and protect the service branch’s assets.