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RAY GUNS
U.S. Air Force issues RFP for aircraft laser weapons
by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Jan 6, 2017


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The U.S. Air Force has issued a request for proposal to develop laser protection systems for its fleet of tactical fighter aircraft.

The competitive request aims to solicit research for the Air Force Research Laboratory's Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments project, or LANCE. Under the program, researchers will investigate laser-based solutions for defending pilots from a variety of anti-aircraft threats.

"The objective of LANCE is to perform research and development activities necessary to design, fabricate and deliver a reliable, ruggedized high-power laser (with excellent beam quality and compact design) for integration within an aerodynamic integrating structure for use during flight testing on tactical aircraft for self-defense research during Phase II of the Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHIELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD)," the request says.

The Air Force expects to award only one new contract for the project, but did not disclose an official number. The total estimated cost for the award is $35 million.

Several top U.S.-based defense contractors have already been involved with assisting the country's armed forces in developing airborne laser technologies.

In November 2016, Northrop Grumman received a contract to aid the branch with using direct energy systems to protect current and future aircraft. The company is tasked with producing the weapon's beam control portion as part of the Self-Project High Energy Laser Demonstrator program, or SHIELD.

Once completed, the weapon will be housed on a pod attached to fighter aircraft.

In October 2015, Lockheed Martin developed a turret-based laser weapon that can be fired in any direction. Tests on the weapon, known as the Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control, were conducted using a business jet as a platform.


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Previous Report
RAY GUNS
Northrop Grumman to develop next-gen fighter laser system
Redondo Beach, Calif. (UPI) Nov 2, 2016
Northrop Grumman will help the U.S. Air Force to develop a directed energy laser system that will offer self-protection for the service's next-generation jets, the company announced Wednesday. The work, under an Air Force Research Laboratory contract, will see Northrop Grumman develop and produce the beam control piece of an airborne laser weapon demonstration array that the laboratory ... read more


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