Lockheed Martin wins contract to make fighter jets with high energy laser weapons

Lockheed Martin is working to develop a high-power fiber laser for fighter jets.

Under a $26.3 million contract from the Air Force Research Lab, the firm will design and produce a directed energy system for aircraft, with plans to test the technology by 2021.

The move comes after a series of successful tests with similar systems in ground-based platforms – but, the experts say developing a laser for a smaller, airborne design will be a challenge.

The AFRL awarded the contract as part of its Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator program.

This program includes three subsystems, addressing beam control to direct a laser to the target, a pod mounted on the jet to cool the laser, and the laser itself.

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