The Air Force aims to install laser-based defense systems on planes by 2021, similar to this illustration. During a series of tests at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., April 23, 2019, the Demonstrator Laser Weapon System, acting as a ground-based test surrogate for the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator system, shot down several air-launched missiles in flight. ILLUSTRATION BASED ON U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/JULIANNE SHOWALTER
The Air Force aims to install laser-based defense systems on planes by 2021, similar to this illustration. During a series of tests at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., April 23, 2019, the Demonstrator Laser Weapon System, acting as a ground-based test surrogate for the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator system, shot down several air-launched missiles in flight. ILLUSTRATION BASED ON U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/JULIANNE SHOWALTER

Air Force’s SHiELD shoots down airborne missiles with laser

by Brian Ferguson
Stars and Stripes

The Air Force said it successfully shot missiles out of the sky with a ground-based laser system that it plans to make small enough to fit on its aircraft.

The Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator Advanced Technology Demonstration Program, or SHiELD, conducted the tests on April 23, an Air Force Research Laboratory statement said Friday.

“The successful test is a big step ahead for directed energy systems and protection against adversarial threats,” said Maj. Gen. William Cooley, AFRL commander. “The ability to shoot down missiles with speed-of-light technology will enable air operation in denied environments.”

During the tests at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the laser system engaged and shot down multiple air-launched missiles in flight. It was not immediately clear whether the laser system shot down the targets one after the other, or if they were downed individually in separate tests.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.579873

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea

Recommended Content