RQ-4 Global Hawk equip combat laser

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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) of the United States is looking for a drone capable of destroying ballistic missiles with a laser. According to the portal flightglobal.com, Northrop Grumman plans to upgrade its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) RQ-4 Global Hawk to meet the stated requirements of the MDA, reports "Warspot"

In June of this year, the US Missile Defense Agency issued a request for information to create a HALE-type UAV (high-altitude, long-endurance) capable of carrying a combat laser. The request indicated that the drone must be able to rise to a height of more than 19 km and carry payloads from 2,3 to 5,7 tons. The military command believes that the drone equipped with a certain power laser can destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles in the so-called acceleration phase.

RQ-4 Global Hawk equip combat laser


The MDA request goes far beyond the capabilities for which the Global Hawk was designed. We are ready to quickly upgrade our drone to the minimum requirements of the missile defense agency, and then work on new modifications that will fully satisfy the request of the MDA
- said Mike Lyons, Global Hawk Program Manager at Northrop Grumman.

According to the technical documentation, the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV can climb to a height of up to 18 km and carry up to 1,3 tons of payload. But according to Mike Lyons, some of the equipment drone has not changed since the 90s, when it was developed, and if it is replaced, then the payload can be significantly increased.

For decades, the US Missile Defense Agency has been ordering the development of aircraft capable of carrying laser weapons and destroying ballistic missiles. It is known that even in 80, the first prototypes of this type were tested. weapons, and in 2014, the program to build the Boeing YAL-1 aircraft was closed, which successfully destroyed the missiles during testing, but due to the reduction of the military budget, its development was discontinued. But in recent years, the US Department of Defense has once again actively financed programs to create laser weapons and MDA is trying to recreate programs that were previously closed on the basis of a drone.
  • https://www.flightglobal.com/
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39 comments
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  1. 0
    August 28 2017
    But what about the dispersion of the laser beam at a distance?
    1. +8
      August 28 2017
      But what about the fact that the acceleration phase is somewhere above someone else’s territory?
      1. +3
        August 28 2017
        But what about the fact that the acceleration phase is somewhere above someone else’s territory?


        No matter how, all this is another loot spread amid threats to the DPRK.
      2. +5
        August 28 2017
        It was not said: “destroy ICBMs”.
        Assignment: "destroy ballistic missiles."
        For example, against North Korea or Iran - it might work.
        When air supremacy is won over enemy territory.
        BR positions can be in underground mines with multiple exits.
        It is not known when and where the launch will be. Then spinning
        over "dangerous" territory drones with lasers will be able to have time to burn through
        1st stage rockets immediately after launch
        1. +2
          August 28 2017
          or they may not have time laughing
          1. +4
            August 28 2017
            Yes, they may not be in time. There are only a few seconds at all.
            But the laser is the only weapon that has at least a CHANCE to be in time
            at its speed of light.
            1. +3
              August 28 2017
              as far as I understand - you are the first interested in such things - but something is not heard about the development
              1. +2
                August 28 2017
                Absolutely right.
                But such load-carrying 3-5 tons of jet
                We do not have UAVs. They are not there at all. Or do we need to start producing them
                (in my opinion - urgently!), or have to buy American when they do.
                1. +2
                  August 28 2017
                  there is still a Chinese tradition, stupidly steal wink
                  1. +2
                    August 28 2017
                    There is nothing to rub. smile
                    1. +2
                      August 28 2017
                      Mossad keeps his finger on the pulse? laughing
    2. +3
      August 28 2017
      The problem of the laser is not only in the scattering of the beam, but also in the ability to reflect off mirror surfaces, and if you make this surface like a reflective lens, with reflection in the same direction, the laser shooter will get his own answer .. In general, of course, the future is for light weapons, because it will not give the enemy any opportunity to react, the speed is too high, unless of course the battle is in space, where the speed of light due to scale is no longer so infinite ..
      1. 0
        August 28 2017
        there are lasers in the range not visible to the eye, it will be difficult to reflect the x-ray laser
  2. +1
    August 28 2017
    So with his engine, he (Laser) will recharge for four hours. We can assume that this is a one-shot flight.
    1. 0
      August 29 2017
      The key issue for the laser system is the source of energy. It looks like there will be laser pumping plus a battery for storing energy. In any case, pulnul and wait for the energy to accumulate.
  3. +2
    August 28 2017
    Mythical plans (everyone knows that there will be no nuclear war) - however, this idea is interesting in terms of peaceful applications
    1. +1
      August 28 2017
      Quote: Anton Boldakov
      However, this idea is interesting in terms of peaceful applications.

      Can be more?
      1. 0
        August 28 2017
        To hunt ducks fly laughing
    2. 0
      August 29 2017
      Quote: Anton Boldakov
      Mythical plans (everyone knows that there will be no nuclear war)

      Although I am an unbeliever, but ... if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans ...
      In Hiroshima, many did not even have time to understand that war could be nuclear.
      1. +1
        August 29 2017
        After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear war receded into the realm of political myths and blackmail. This is one of the few cases where the effect of the use of weapons is really frightening.
  4. 0
    August 28 2017
    The military command believes that a drone equipped with a laser of a certain power is capable of destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles in the so-called acceleration phase

    ... but what about clouds, rain, fog, etc., natural phenomena? ... and "counting in the military command" does not mean shooting down, they are in the "command" of the choppers ... laughing
    1. +2
      August 28 2017
      Quote: aszzz888
      ... but what about the clouds, rain, fog and other natural phenomena? ..


      Read what heights in question

      1. 0
        August 28 2017
        "read" and then what?
        1. +3
          August 28 2017
          Quote: aszzz888
          "read" and then what?



          I can advise you to read the textbook of Natural History, where it is written about clouds, rains and fogs
          1. 0
            August 29 2017
            In response, you can advise you to read if you find:
            1. About the angle of scattering of the laser beam and the drop in spot energy according to the law of inverse squares. And this is in ideal conditions.
            2. About the effect of air humidity and dust on the transparency of the atmosphere for a laser beam. Yes, yes, even at the declared altitude of 20 km, all this is in sufficient quantities. In addition, with a long shot distance, due to the curvature of the Earth’s surface, part of the ray path will inevitably pass in the lower layers of the atmosphere, saturated with all of the above.
            3. About the effect on the beam of ionization of air during the passage of the beam itself.
            4. About the accuracy of pointing and holding the spot on the target with an accuracy of millimeters.
            5. About the cost of covering the rocket with a mirror, and preferably ablative coating.
            6. About the possibility of adding rotation to the rocket in addition to coatings ...
            The list can be continued.
            1. 0
              August 29 2017
              Quote: abrakadabre
              In response, you can advise you to read if you find: ...


              It's nice to talk with a well-read interlocutor, only the question arises:
              - why don't you advise?

              I'll try to guess:
              - probably because it was about

              Quote: aszzz888

              ... but as with clouds, rain, fog, etc., natural phenomena?...


              abracadabra?
  5. +5
    August 28 2017
    Hmm .... Another project .... We used IL-60 to ensure the operation of a laser capable of shooting down targets (project A-86). And then the prospect is relative. Until there is a powerful, but compact power source, these are all just floodlights. The cost of hoo, and the effectiveness of yep-gu ...
  6. +4
    August 28 2017
    Quote: aszzz888
    The military command believes that a drone equipped with a laser of a certain power is capable of destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles in the so-called acceleration phase
    ... but what about clouds, rain, fog, etc., natural phenomena? ... and "counting in the military command" does not mean shooting down, they are in the "command" of the choppers ... laughing


    You have read the TK inattentively. It says that the request indicated that the drone should be able to climb to a height of more than 19 km and carry a payload of 2,3 to 5,7 tons.
    Have you seen rain somewhere, fog and clouds seen at heights of 15-19 km?

    Quote: Topotun
    Hmm .... Another project .... We used IL-60 to ensure the operation of a laser capable of shooting down targets (project A-86). And then the prospect is relative. Until there is a powerful, but compact power source, these are all just floodlights. The cost of hoo, and the effectiveness of yep-gu ...

    That's right. The laser, unlike the Boeing and Ile laser, must be at least solid-state in order to avoid stocks of the working fluid. And of course, powerful, and most importantly compact power supply
    1. 0
      August 28 2017
      You have read the TK inattentively. It says that the request indicated that the drone should be able to rise to a height of more than 19 km and carry a payload weighing 2,3 to 5,7 tons.
      Have you seen rain somewhere, fog and clouds seen at heights of 15-19 km?

      And at what height was he going to shoot down the BR? Is there fog and clouds? And with a reduction in the running time of the booster engines, the interceptor will have a chance only if it hangs over the mine at the time of launch. But this is unlikely, launchers are not installed near the border.
  7. +1
    August 28 2017
    Panama. In the sense of a gamble is hopeless.
  8. 0
    August 28 2017
    Missile Defense Agency is looking for a drone for "cut"
  9. +1
    August 28 2017
    Only a gas-dynamic laser (at the moment) can give the required power,
  10. +1
    August 28 2017
    Yes, yes, put what you want, and we have enough satellites with a laser gun. wink There will be a laser rain for you. Yes
    Powder your budget again! wassat Who will quickly master the idea https://topwar.ru/8374-lazernyy-luch-zahvata-stan
    et-reality.html
  11. 0
    August 28 2017
    RQ-4 Global Hawk equip combat laser
    I wonder if we have an analogue.
  12. 0
    August 28 2017
    Well, it’s necessary to shove a small nuclear reactor into it, to charge this thing ......... nu-nu - let them try, especially in the acceleration phase, it’s necessary to fly over our territory, and this is a declaration of war, then this missile (ICBM) is not in vain to fly
  13. 0
    August 28 2017
    Quote: Rostislav
    And at what height was he going to shoot down the BR? Is there fog and clouds? And with a reduction in the running time of the booster engines, the interceptor will have a chance only if it hangs over the mine at the time of launch. But this is unlikely, launchers are not installed near the border.

    In any case, the calculation is that the laser range is about 600-800 km (approximately the same TTZ was for Boeing). Any reduction in engine operation is not equal to zero in time and distance from the mine. As an example, we can consider our old Topol-type ICBM, which is now being intensively withdrawn from service.
    = The third stage finishes its work at an altitude of 220-240 km and at a distance of about 400 km from the launch site., Autopilot time is approximately 180 seconds =
    What does it mean? And the fact that, for example, the complexes located in Vypolzovo, Yoshkar-Ola, Kozelsk can be in the affected area with such a laser. Well, basically, of course, the emphasis is not on Russia (for now, at least), but on countries that the Americans attribute to the "axis of evil." But for our complexes in the above areas, such a laser is also not good enough.
  14. +1
    August 28 2017
    How many real laser models are there capable of knocking a rocket down? With a power of 50 kW, the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV can only raise the generator and the fuel supply to it, and it's not a fact that there is enough space
  15. +1
    August 28 2017
    Well, you can’t be so stupid ... Against such a drone, there will be enough fast torsion of the BR around its axis.
  16. 0
    August 28 2017
    Quote: APASUS
    How many real laser models are there capable of knocking a rocket down?

    It depends on what. The Americans shot down the 6-MW laser with a laser, and they didn’t even try the ICBMs. Although in all the "presentations" they meant exactly the ICBMs

    Quote: askme
    Well, you can’t be so stupid ... Against such a drone, there will be enough fast torsion of the BR around its axis.

    As an option - yes, rotation around its axis can reduce the likelihood of damage. But as for the fast rotation, I am afraid that it is hardly possible to achieve “fast rotation” on a 30-50 ton solid-fuel ICBM, and even more so on a 150-200 ton liquid.
    At one time, when the "Star Wars" were circulating in the press, the defense options were considered in sufficient detail.

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