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DARPA Equips Jets With Lasers, Are Sharks Next?

darpa laser planeForget about missiles fired from a fighter jet towards the enemy in a dogfight, and neither do you need to worry about bullets. DARPA, the research arm of the US military, is currently working on two systems, the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), and Aero-Adaptive/Aero-Optic Beam Control (ABC). HELLADS, as seen above, will bring back memories of the USS Enterprise firing away its pulse cannons and phasers, but in real life, this is a 150-kilowatt system which is said to be ten times smaller and lighter compared to existing systems, and is suitable for use both on the ground and in the air. This laser tips the scales at under five kilos per kilowatt and can cram into a total space of three cubic meters, so while fighter jets with lasers sound frightening enough, how about equipping them on sharks? Now that’d be a real nightmare.

It would be nice to see how the tracking systems work to trace down different targets within range of the lasers mounted on a fighter jet, and traditional countermeasures such as flares will not work with lasers once it has locked on to the target, since lasers would theoretically move at the speed of light – correct me on that as physics is not my strong suit, but I believe it would be faster than your average missile.

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