Military says Star Wars-Style Lasers Will be on Fighter Jets in 2020
As technology progresses, sometimes science fiction becomes reality. Soon, lasers could leave the realm of imagination and a galaxy far, far away. Thanks to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the futuristic arm of the U.S. military, this year liquid-cooled, solid-state laser weapons will be installed on fighter planes.
DARPA and General Atomics announced they finished working on the laser turrets in 2012, and will now start integrating them on bomber and combat planes, with a goal of starting to test the technology in 2014.
The program is called HELLADS (High Eenergy Liquid Laser Area Defense System) and DARPA has been working on it since 2008. The laser turrets will be light enough to be mounted on planes, and will be able to shoot down surface-to-air missiles or rockets with high-energy laser beams.
DARPA is involved in other laser projects, including one with defense giant Lockheed Martin. So someday soon we will probably see technology that resembles science fiction like Star Wars or Star Trek.