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Lockheed's New Laser Super Turret Could Change Air Combat Forever

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posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 11:48 AM
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This article is about a collaborative effort to utilize Aero-Adaptive, Aero-Optic Beam Control for future combat aircraft. It goes on to describe how a F-35B could be modified to carry the system in place of its VTOL capability, or an A or C variant having the extra fuel tank removed which I thought was pretty cool, F-35D or E variant perhaps? I always like to read the comments and found one or two of those interesting as well.


The ABC turret system is designed to allow high-energy lasers to engage enemy aircraft and missiles above, below and behind the aircraft. Lockheed Martin's flow control and optical compensation technologies counteract the effects of turbulence caused by the protrusion of a turret from an aircraft's fuselage.


With the implementation of this system on future combat aircraft the dogfight could really be a thing of the past, but then if faced with a scenario where the tracking system for those turret(s) were disabled they might be fixed straight ahead but still functional and then you re right back to doing air combat maneuvers to obtain a shot.

I can also see an obvious need for a defensive anti-missile system on larger aircraft to act as sort of a Phalanx system in the sky. Or mounted on the side of a C-130 or future gunship platform, maybe even replacing or supplementing the chin turrets on rotary wing and similar future aircraft.


Source: Lockheed's new Laser Turret could Change Air Combat Forever.




posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: StratosFear

The F-35 was always meant to have some kind of laser system on it, but nothing that is currently in use is feasible for any kind of ranged system.

The C-130 has a couple of options for laser systems that have been tested, but again, range is an issue with lasers. Even with adaptive optics. It's one of the reasons the YAL-1 failed so spectacularly. They couldn't get anywhere near the range required, without the aircraft orbiting over hostile territory.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


They couldn't get anywhere near the range required, without the aircraft orbiting over hostile territory.



Clouds, fog and smoke also shorten ranges, don't they?



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

They're getting better about those. The Army just tested a laser through fog to shoot down a UAV.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 01:33 PM
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pew pew pew.

I wonder why don't have that lightning gun system rolled out.

That would scare the hell out of an enemy.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: StratosFear

There's no "could" about it. It absolutely "will" change how future air battles are fought and planned when these systems are perfected and put into the skys in mass. There will still be a need for long range missiles like the AMRAAM and the like but systems like these will probably replace shorter range systems like the AIM-9's and guns. In that respect it may save weight on the aircraft.
I know ALL future aircraft in development now and in the future will make room and power for laser systems. As Zaph mentioned I think the F-35 was, from the onset of the program, designed to eventually carry DEW's.
This is also where the future of stealth is going to have to go. Making aircraft invisible to all of light's spectrum to illude laser tracking and targeting systems as well as radar.


edit on 16-9-2014 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58 I agree with the F-35 having more capabilities than what the regular media covers, but everyone knows once a technology is being invested in and developed miniaturization occurs. Perhaps classified advancements have been made in the material that makes up the solid state component that allows the ability for that increased range and power making such a weapon possible?

I thought the Yal-1 used a chemical oxygen iodine laser(COIL) system? This is talking about an active solid state like a crystal, maybe even synthetically produced crystal?






posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: StratosFear



Lockheed Martin's flow control and optical compensation technologies counteract the effects of turbulence caused by the protrusion of a turret from an aircraft's fuselage.


I'd also like to know more about this. Is this indicating something to compensate for aerodynamic drag of the ball turret or am I reading that wrong?



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: grey580Like a directed Tesla coil? Right now I couldn`t give an educated answer, in a few nights I might be able to find something.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:13 PM
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a reply to: StratosFear

It did, but regardless of type, there are some limitations you're not going to avoid, unless you completely change the nature of lasers. One of those is interatmospheric range.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

It compensates for the turbulence of the airflow around the aircraft, as well as the movement of the aircraft.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:15 PM
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I think lasers are really only the first step.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: StratosFear

I think the advancement in projecting lethal laser energy at a useful distance came from the use of adaptive optics and deformable reflecors that can compensate for the propensity of the atmosphere to disperse the laser energy. I think I recall talking about optic testing in another thread somewhere.

Also, laser tech is advancing nicely.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

This is going to be announced as a weapon, but it'll be developed as something else.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

....first step to awesomeness! Sharks with laser strapped to their backs?



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Well, taking a stab in the dark...

We use fiber optics for communication -- why not laser communication? Both use photons to carry information at the speed of light?

I think that the problem with using a laser would be objects getting in the way, and dealing with the curvature of the Earth itself. This may be why we haven't had this yet.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: SammamishmanI agree with that post, but it is also reminiscent of the comments of the 1950s and 60s how the A2A missile would render the dogfight obsolete, Missiles changed it but the art is still sort of there. They are developing that "active camo" coating for various vehicles and possible Spec Ops soldiers, rumors have been around awhile about that sort of thing so only a few know the actual extent of that research.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom
I had thought of that as well. Could a network of strategically placed satellites be able to relay that laser? Also how much information could potentially be sent per time the laser is active? Seems like I heard about such a question before but you just reminded me of it.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:38 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Laser communications have been around for many years. NASA just ran an experiment with the LADEE probe, reaching 622 mbps down, from the moon.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 02:41 PM
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a reply to: StratosFear

True about the "dog fight is no more" argument that has been around for years. I don't think the dog fight will ever be completely gone, just change with the deployment of DEW's. Tactics, distances for maneuvers may adapt to DEW's.
The scary thing to me about them is the lack of advanced warning. A targeted aircraft won't know they are being shot at till they catch fire and explode. At least with missiles, even AESA warheads with their reduced warning time, you have some warning something is coming your way. Lasers hit at the speed of light and are virtually undetectable till they are fired at you, and as far as I know un-defeatable.



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