et|social_twitter|
fab|fa-patreon|
et|social_youtube_square|

SHiELD – The US Air Force New Laser Pod That Will Shoot Down Missiles

March 8, 2021
et|icon_comment_alt|v

0 Comments

fab|fa-youtube|

Subscribe

The United States Air Force (USAF) is making progress on fielding a new self-defence pod that will be fitted to aircraft and shoot down incoming missiles with a laser beam. Codenamed “SHiELD” (yes, really, it stands for Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator) the USAFs Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is planning on building the prototype this year.

SHiELD is a directed energy laser system that will be pod mounted and provide protection to aircraft against surface-to-air (SAM) and air-to-air (AAM) missiles. It goes without saying that the system has not just sprung out of nowhere.

Over the last five years AFRL has worked closely with several of the big American defence contractors, conducting research and testing of various concepts. In the last two years the team has achieved remarkable advances. These included successfully flying an F-15 with the laser test pod attached and the successful shoot-down of air-launched missiles using a ground-based system.

There were, and still are, difficult problems to be solved. Imagine the complexities for an autonomous system to overcome and the factors to be calculated – wind speeds, turbulence, and quick aircraft manoeuvres are just as a few. But with the successful tests showing viability, AFRL are now moving ahead with full demonstrator construction.

Should SHiELD achieve service, it will make the existing aircraft far more resilient in hostile environments. A full system test of the SHiELD prototype is expected in 2023/4.

Related Amazon Books

Ed Nash

Ed Nash

Ed Nash has spent years traveling around the world. Between June 2015 and July 2016 he volunteered with the Kurdish YPG in its battle against ISIS in Syria; his book on his experiences, Desert Sniper, was published by Little, Brown in September 2018.
Ed Nash

Ed Nash

Ed Nash has spent years traveling around the world. Between June 2015 and July 2016 he volunteered with the Kurdish YPG in its battle against ISIS in Syria; his book on his experiences, Desert Sniper, was published by Little, Brown in September 2018.

Latest Videos

Russia Tests Unmanned Combat Vehicles During Massive Exercise

Russia Tests Unmanned Combat Vehicles During Massive Exercise

While many countries are exploring the possible use of Unmanned Combat Vehicles – otherwise known as UCVs – most are comparatively light vehicles with a focus generally on infantry support and light reconnaissance.  But it seems that Russia is taking the possibility...

Equipment the British Lost at Dunkirk that the Germans Reused

Equipment the British Lost at Dunkirk that the Germans Reused

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban has led to quite a bit of press coverage, as you’ve probably noticed. One of the topics that has seen countless type ink spilt is just how much equipment the Taliban have captured. In fact, I covered that very topic myself. No...

Swedish Thunderbolt – The Saab JA 37 Viggen

Swedish Thunderbolt – The Saab JA 37 Viggen

The Saab Viggen – which broadly translate as “Thunderbolt” - evolved from a 1960s requirement from the Swedish Air Force to replace both the Saab Lansen in the attack role and the Draken as a fighter/interceptor. Preliminary design and experimental work were conducted...

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments