Military Review

American UAVs will receive lasers for service

The Pentagon and the US government decided to resume development work (R & D) to develop combat lasers for airborne aircraft. Contracts for the creation of air-based combat lasers were transferred to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The main task of these systems weapons the transfer of directed energy (OPNE) will become the protection of unmanned and manned air weapons, as well as the destruction of potential enemy missiles.

At the end of October 2013, the Pentagon decided to transfer 26 million to two defense contractors for designing a laser capable of shooting down anti-aircraft missiles. As part of the project, which received the designation Project “Endurance” (the project “Endurance”), the Agency for Advanced Defense Projects DARPA allocated 11,4 million to Lockheed Martin and 14,6 million to Northrop Grumman, the American press reported. The “Endurance” project aims to create a technology for lasers mounted on pylons that can effectively protect a large number of military air platforms from current and future generations of ground-to-air guided weapons with electro-optical infrared aiming.

This project concentrates around the idea of ​​miniaturizing the technologies of all laser components, creating new high-precision tracking systems for the target, its identification, as well as a flexible and easy laser beam control system. Particularly relevant are these works for fairly slow and small UAVs, which today are experiencing very great difficulties in evading modern means of destruction, which makes drones a fairly easy target for enemy air defense systems.

American UAVs will receive lasers for service

So in 2011, Tehran reported that they managed to shoot down the American RQ-170 Sentinel UAV. Although the US authorities initially said that the message was a falsification, they later admitted that their drone had actually disappeared. During a press conference in December 2011, the American president noted that the United States had asked for the machine to be returned. The top military officials from the Iranian army noted that they are not going to return the unmanned aerial vehicle. The commander of the Iranian army, General Hussein Salami, noted that no country would welcome spy drones from other states that are in their airspace, while hardly anyone would return the captured spy equipment and the information they acquired back to the owners.

According to representatives of the agency DARPA, the design process of the new laser technology will be completed by the end of this year. In the 2014 year, the laser production will be deployed, as well as the assembly and testing of the systems, so that at the output by the 2016 year we can put the finished product into service. Details of the project, which received the code designation "Endurance", are currently not disclosed. It is only known that the systems of self-defense of aircraft will be placed in special suspension containers. As part of the project, it is also planned to create modern control systems, missile launch warnings and launch countermeasure systems.

At the moment, all American UAVs do not have a system of protection against anti-aircraft missiles. Previously, the US military was already considering several ways to protect their drones from missiles, in particular, they considered the use of infrared pulsed emitters, the use of false thermal targets, but the creation of such systems for UAVs was not started.

The Endurance project grew out of another DARPA laser weapons system program called Excalibur. The goal of the program was to create new technologies for coherent optical phased arrays in order to make the combat laser much more compact and 10 times lighter than the existing high-energy chemical lasers, according to a press release from the DARPA agency.

Pentagon officials are confident that modern combat lasers, which will be placed on aerial platforms, can become one of the key elements of the US defense system, reports Defense Tech, citing its own sources in the defense department. However, it is worth noting that all previous attempts of the US military-industrial complex and the Pentagon to develop a working flying OPN system ended in failure. For example, the very expensive and ambitious Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) program, aimed at creating a flying laser capable of knocking down ballistic missiles of a potential enemy, was closed by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (he held this post from 2006 to 2011 a year). The former US Secretary of Defense considered the funding of this program unjustifiably high, and the program itself unrealistic. Even though the 11 of February, the 2010 of the year, the ALTB system (albeit sea, not airborne), during the tests, was able to successfully destroy a short-range ballistic missile. The success of these tests by some experts today is questioned, someone considers them falsification.

In many ways, the sequestration of the US budget also affected the collapse of the ALTB program, after Congress demanded that the military cut spending. After analyzing all current programs, the Pentagon had to decide which of them require further funding, and which of them will be frozen. ALTB has become exactly the project, the work on which was minimized, and all the documentation was transferred to the archive. There is nothing strange in this, if we take into account the costs of building Boeings equipped with these weapons. Initially, the Ministry of Defense counted on purchasing 7 of such machines worth 1,5 billion dollars apiece. And if we take into account the technical problems that the Americans encountered during the implementation of the program, it becomes clear why the project was closed.

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  1. Ols76
    Ols76 6 November 2013 09: 51
    Here is one of the developed laser guns for UAVs.
    1. MilaPhone
      MilaPhone 6 November 2013 10: 15
      Quote: Ols76
      Here is one of the developed laser guns for UAVs.

      Laser M61 "Volcano"? smile
      1. Versed
        Versed 7 November 2013 01: 49
        30mm, the 7-barrel GAU-8 / A Avenge will be better, punches the T-72 through and through good
  2. Constantine
    Constantine 6 November 2013 11: 56
    It is very difficult to believe that they will be able to provide UAVs with a sufficiently powerful and compact source of energy. This story is more like:
    a) Another mega cut of money
    b) Another Star Wars story from the Cold War.

    1. Versed
      Versed 7 November 2013 01: 56
      In Star Wars, who got the belly button loose? right, at the Council of Deputies, which eventually collapsed laughing
    2. Do not care
      Do not care 7 November 2013 07: 39
      A powerful laser is not needed. It’s not about burning a rocket.
      The laser must disable the infrared homing sensor.
      Speed ​​and accuracy are more important here.
      Such systems are already widely used in manned aircraft (military and civilian) and they are very effective.
  3. badger1974
    badger1974 6 November 2013 12: 00
    with a high-power laser, there is one big problem - the atmosphere, a photon colliding with atoms loses energy, and if there is dense water vapor (clouds) in the atmosphere, the combat laser is completely lost; therefore, such installations are on Boeing with a powerful power station, but it into the stratosphere, it’s not climbing, therefore, the concept of using this unit to shoot down BR warheads has been put forward, all this nonsense, just like a combat UAV laser, the spool is very small so that there is enough energy to save
    1. fzr1000
      fzr1000 6 November 2013 16: 54
      It will be cheaper for the states to start a project that will increase the sparseness of the Earth’s atmosphere. And lasers will shoot well, and people will decrease.
  4. vthrehbq
    vthrehbq 6 November 2013 12: 30
    =)))) as everyone has already forgotten the story about installing a combat laser on a Boeing for the type of missile interception. American journalists wrote so many laudatory articles, the Pentagon almost every month told that combat lasers would soon be on fighter jets and tanks and ships .. and then they passed a couple of tests and quietly closed the program. And the funny thing is that the United States since the 80s knew that the creation of a combat laser was about 70 years of work, and maybe more. in the USSR, as early as 87 in the Crimea, tests of a combat laser mounted on a ship were tested. shot at targets. range 2 km. and also after testing refused further work. So all the current news about lasers from the USA is really a cut of money.
    1. Altair
      Altair 7 November 2013 18: 32
      Quote: vthrehbq
      =)))) as everyone has already forgotten the story about installing a combat laser on a Boeing

      Quote: vthrehbq
      So all the current news about lasers from the USA is really a cut of money.

      The company Boeing has created a powerful laser that can provide a "laser revolution" in the military
  5. Tan4ik
    Tan4ik 6 November 2013 12: 30
    The laser cannot be used as a weapon. I heard this in one program, everything was specifically told there.
    1. washi
      washi 6 November 2013 14: 56
      Quote: Tan4ik
      The laser cannot be used as a weapon. I heard this in one program, everything was specifically told there.

      He, in the atmosphere is used to blind optics and hp.
      In space, dispersion and attenuation are less
      1. AVV
        AVV 6 November 2013 16: 38
        By 2050, maybe something will change, and now companies are fighting to cut a nonexistent budget !!!
    2. Altair
      Altair 7 November 2013 18: 36
      Quote: Tan4ik
      The laser cannot be used as a weapon. I heard this in one program, everything was specifically told there.

      Scientists from Jefferson's laboratory showed reporters the record power of the new injector Free Electron Combat Laser (FEL) US Navy.
  6. Rex
    Rex 6 November 2013 12: 35
    The next program under which they pump out a bag of money for development without an actual result.
  7. pensioner
    pensioner 6 November 2013 14: 21
    Well, I do not believe in the effectiveness of laser weapons in their modern form. And on the UAV - definitely. Well, except in the case when a UAV is equipped with a laser gun based on a nuclear-pumped laser. Then yes, scary ...
  8. mr_Doom
    mr_Doom 6 November 2013 14: 49
    from the series `` Luke I'm your father ''
  9. makarov
    makarov 6 November 2013 15: 02
    Pure water CHERNACHE !!!
    The indicated money for R&D will not be enough. Lack of power on the plane will not allow generating a laser of the required power. The laser has the property of "defocusing", and if it comes from the source as thick as a needle, then for a kilometer it will already be the diameter of the plate.
    Well, unless the Chinese pointer to the wing is tied, that's the whole laser.
  10. makarov
    makarov 6 November 2013 17: 45
    Quote: Tan4ik
    The laser cannot be used as a weapon. I heard this in one program, everything was specifically told there.

    Can. It certainly can, but for this it is necessary ............
  11. makarov
    makarov 6 November 2013 17: 45
    Quote: Tan4ik
    The laser cannot be used as a weapon. I heard this in one program, everything was specifically told there.

    Can. It certainly can, but for this it is necessary ............
  12. Garysit
    Garysit 6 November 2013 18: 25
    Another "duck" in the style of Reagan-2 or engineer Reagan's hyperboloid ....
  13. Aleksey_K
    Aleksey_K 6 November 2013 18: 50
    I want to argue with all the readers. About the atmosphere or space. It's only in Babylon 5 that everyone cuts each other with beams of light. What kind of goof would betray his location with such a weapon? Combat lasers are lasers in invisible range. About photons! Physicists still don't really know what a photon is. Well, they came up with a particle. And the mass was given equal to 0. They announced that it was moving at a speed of ~ 300000 km / sec. And they immediately announced that any particle at such a speed must have a supergiant mass. Continuous contradictions. Physicists, in order to explain something that they simply do not understand, will lie with three boxes. Now again about combat lasers. For 26 million dollars, moreover, divided into 2 companies, nothing can be created, except for disinformation. But, the prospect of creating this type of weapon, even if not laser, is tempting. Well, and the 4th. Even our State Duma does not disclose what projects the military is allocated for. We will learn about a new weapon only when it will actually fight against us or with us.
    1. pensioner
      pensioner 6 November 2013 19: 08
      Quote: Алексей_К
      Even our State Duma does not disclose what projects the money is allocated to the military. We learn about a new weapon only when it really will fight against us or ours.

      I don’t know, I don’t know. And now the institute is almost dead. True, I recently found myself on Lunacharsky Street and was stunned. At the entrance to the institute there is a huge number of ads from the "Wanted!" Series. And it was to this institute!
  14. Arkan
    Arkan 6 November 2013 19: 43
    Dreams Dreams! Where is your sweetness? Green candy wrappers flooded, the above-mentioned development companies will not die of hunger.
  15. The comment was deleted.
  16. Lone gunman
    Lone gunman 6 November 2013 19: 55
    The future is near, and it will be much worse than the past ...
  17. Shur
    Shur 7 November 2013 00: 12
    Maybe an electric laser or something else. It doesn’t work for subhuman people, until it is raked and calmed down. A society built on the destruction of other societies. They must be resettled on a separate planet. Although there they will come up with how to capture another Mars and fuck its bowels
  18. garik77
    garik77 9 November 2013 00: 28
    What the hell happens with these lasers. After all, no matter how chemical it is, the law of conservation of energy has not yet been canceled by anyone. That is, to increase the power of the beam without a significant increase in the power of the laser power source does not work. Therefore, all this strongly resembles the projections of the times of the Reagan SDI and nothing more. Periodically, the work is minimized, then it seems to be resumed, then again it is minimized and so on ad infinitum. And the exhaust is still zero, nothing can be done beyond the experimental setups.