Laser Turrets: The (Extremely) Hot New War Plane Accessory

After war planes switched out manned guns in favor of missiles, the classic "gun turret" on fighting aircraft was expunged from the design.  Now, Lockheed Martin is making what's old new again, with an awesome twist:  the turrets are housing lasers.

As reported by, Lockheed Martin has modified a commercial jet to arm it with lasers, and eight successful flights have been logged with the aircraft already.  The lasers operate out of turrets capable of 360-degree rotation, which when put into action will use the directed-energy weapons to eradicate enemy missiles.

The official term for the all-around-awesome lasers is "Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control" - "ABC" for short. For nations that do not have the funds to construct and maintain war planes, anti-aircraft missiles have been the preferred choice for thwarting airborne attackers. Now, such offenses will be easily countered and fried to a crisp thanks to the Lockheed lasers.

Lockheed Martin GTO Ray Johnson was enthusiastic about the durability and usefulness of the lasers, telling Popular Science, "[Lasers] can operate with the electrical power that could be generated on an aircraft. You could certainly see it go on bomber-sized aircraft and as the technology develops and size/weight/power are reduced, our notion is to see it get to the point where it can go on fighter-sized aircraft."

Combined with Boeing's new truck-mounted lasers, it seems that war is going to have a blindingly bright future.

"Star Wars" warplane technology is no longer only in a galaxy far, far, away.

No comments:

Post a Comment