The NG will help the US Air Force (USAF) to develop a directed energy laser system that will offer self-protection for its next-generation jets. Northrop will develop and produce the beam control platform of an airborne laser weapon demonstration system.
Most of us have probably seen those famous George Lucas Star Wars movies. Some of us probably thought if any part of that sci-fi high technology could be developed in the near future. Well it seems does it can, at least very small part of it. This is because of the newest Northrop Grumman laser technology.
The work would be carried out as part of an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract. AFRL is developing the system under its self-protect high-energy laser demonstrator (SHIELD) advanced technology demonstration (ATD) program. The laser weapon itself will be housed in a pod that is attached to a fighter-sized jet at it should work perfectly even on the aircraft flying at supersonic speed. The weapon will have ability to acquire and track incoming targets, determine the aim point for the laser and then shape and focus the outgoing beam on the target. Flight testing of the integrated system will begin by year of 2019.
Author: Daniel Kasprzycki
Image: A rendering of the self-protection laser system at work. Source: Northrop Grumman
Source: AFRL contracts Northrop to develop laser beam control system for USAF aircraft, www.airforce-technology.com