(ORDO NEWS) — Various ” cartoons” with a demonstration of all sorts of fantastic and not very developments are loved by the military of all countries, but sometimes you can glean rather curious realistic facts from them. For example, in its new advertising presentation, the Lockheed Martin company shows not a hundred times seen bulky experimental lasers on airplanes, but suspended containers for fighters that can destroy enemy missiles with a high-energy beam.
The video demonstrates the joint work of the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus flying tanker and two General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. They are almost simultaneously attacked with missiles from the sea by an air defense system of a certain ship and from the air by a fighter suspiciously similar to the MiG-29. The tanker aircraft, with the help of advanced sensors located throughout the fuselage, records missile launches and transmits data about the attack to the escort.
Fighters, in turn, distribute targets and attack them with lasers – under the action of high-energy beams, attacking missiles quickly fail and fall. Naturally, many simplifications were made when creating the video, including launch ranges and missile behavior. For example, even if the laser destroys the missile’s electronics or destroys its warhead, the engine will not turn off, the projectile will simply continue to fly, but will not be guided.
Despite all the bravura and many promising statements made in the form of captions over the picture, the video makes you think seriously. A couple of years ago, combat lasers were installed, at best, on ships or heavy trucks. As air carriers of experimental samples, heavy military transport or converted civilian cargo aircraft were used.
The American defense industry giant Lockheed Martin does not say at what stage the Tactical Airborne Laser Weapon System (TALWS, Tactical Airborne Laser Weapon) technology, demonstrated in the cartoon, is now at the stage, the caption to the video only says that it is in development … However, the very fact of active work on the creation of laser combat systems in the form factor of suspended containers is a significant breakthrough.
If such modules appear in the next few years, this will open up the broadest prospects for modernizing the existing air force and naval aviation fleet. And this is not the first time this happens – in the early 2000s, F / A-18 multipurpose carrier-based fighters received special AN / ASQ-228 ATFLIR containers, which turned them into high-precision bombers. Which, of course, turned out to be much cheaper than creating a new fighter-bomber or even upgrading the onboard equipment of existing aircraft for a new task.
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