The US Air Force has tested a new laser weapon system that was designed to destroy missiles. They have been working on it since 2016, and it will be attached to aircraft for defense. The laser is called the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) and has the ability to stop multiple missiles at the same time. Major General William Cooley commented on the results of the test, saying, “This is a big step forward for directed energy systems and protection against threats.
The SHiELD works by using a control system to aim and fire the laser powered by a specially designed pod. SHiELD has many advantages for the Air Force. Some of these advantages include incredible accuracy, firing swiftly, copious ammunition, and being easy to operate. In addition to this, the Air Force Laboratory has said that this weapon will not be easily defeated by flares or jammers, which are 2 things that can cause problems for devices such as SHiELD. Unfortunately, the laser system is vulnerable to bad weather conditions.
Currently, Lockheed Martin is working with the Air Force to make the laser system smaller so that it can fit on other vehicles.