AFRL tests SHiELD demonstrator
The US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration programme successfully completed the surrogate laser weapon system shoot down of multiple air launched missiles in flight on 23 April.
The SHiELD programme intends to develop a directed energy laser system on an aircraft pod that will serve to demonstrate self-defence of aircraft against surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.
During the series of tests at the High Energy Laser System Test Facility, the demonstrator laser weapon system, acting as a ground-based test surrogate for the SHiELD system, engaged and shot down several air launched missiles in flight.
The demonstration validated laser effectiveness against the target missiles. The ability to shoot down missiles with speed-of-light technology will enable air operations in denied environments. The final SHiELD system will be much smaller and lighter as well as ruggedised for an airborne environment.
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