A new request by the Air Force Research Lab reveals that the USAF is planning to have laser weapons built in the next generation of fighters by 2030, the US Naval Institute reports. The new jet fighters will be equipped with both defensive and offensive lasers. I'm glad we're getting ready for the incoming alien invasion.
They want three types of laser weapons. The first will be used to blind enemy planes' sensors. A second one—with a higher wattage—will be used as a defense against missiles. And lastly, they want an offensive laser weapon to take down other planes. According to the proposal, these "laser and beam control systems are being investigated independent of platform in the flight regime from altitudes Sea Level to 65,000 feet and speeds from Mach 0.6 to 2.5."
By October 2014, the AFRL wants to have readiness level four equipment, solid enough to work in a lab. They want to have level five gear by 2022, which means that it would be tested under simulated real world conditions. By 2030, the equipment should be ready to deploy in their next-generation air superiority fighter.
Let the real Star Wars begin!