The US Air Force managed to destroy missiles with laser beams

Source : @Lockheed Martin

The US Air Force will advance in small steps in the construction of weapons worthy of Star Wars. The evidence, the american army managed, in a test, to shoot down missiles with laser beams. The name of the device : SHiELD, to Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator. In its tests, the US Air Force managed to destroy nearly a hundred flying missiles with the SHiELD, which was used from the ground. The trial took place on the firing range of the u.s. army in New Mexico in April.

To fire laser beams, the SHiELD works around three main components : the laser system, a control system to direct the beam, and a nacelle which feeds the all. Of course everything is intended to be mounted on an aircraft in order to protect the vehicle from attacks, but the gear is still too big. The SHiELD looks very much like an astronomical observatory, for the moment. In fact, the device developed by Lockheed Martin tends to miniaturization, and it could go faster than expected.

The US Air Force in integrating the SHiELD in a military plane as early as 2021. Of course, the weapon remains for the time being subject to numerous validation criteria prior to democratize, but within ten years, it may well be that our military aircraft are firing laser beams.

The SHiELD is not the only technology laser tested by the u.s. army. Such a system has already been mounted on an attack helicopter Apache AH-64 in the last year, proof that the laser technology is no longer the preserve of science-fiction movies.