The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), said that they are on track by having a functional laser weapon on a plane by 2020, which will have the ability to cause fatal damage to targets.
The lab’s chief engineer, Kelly Hammet, said: “It really is a national tipping point.”
“We see the technology evolving and maturing to the stage where it really can be used.”
The new laser technology will allow laser weapons to withstand g-force and vibrations of near supersonic speeds.
“You could have an unlimited magazine… loitering aircraft that could address and access a wide variety of targets.
“Incredible precision strike capabilities could be enabled there,” Hammet added.
A test is in the works involving an F-15 Eagle, The commander of Air Force Combat Command, General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, revealed last May.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll see a prototype test case in the next year or two,” Carlisle told Air Combat Command.
The AFRL is also working on a defensive laser shield.
A 360-degree laser ‘bubble’ would surround a U.S. warplane in case of an incoming attack like a missile or another aircraft.