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MDA airborne laser demonstrator in the works

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posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 01:26 PM
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The Missile Defense Agency is looking at a new airborne laser platform, and some of the potential demonstrators will surprise you. Lockheed is taking a long look at an unmanned U-2 as one possibility. The U-2 would fly higher than the YAL-1, which increases the range of the laser, and reduces atmospheric distortion. The modular payload, and open architecture also are an advantage for the platform.

Other possible aircraft to use as demonstrators are the RQ-4 Global Hawk from Northrop Grumman, or the Boeing Phantom Eye, as well as the General Atomics Predator C. It's likely that the new platform will use a combining fiber laser system. This would be a demonstration of the platform and would be a big step in helping the MDA figure out requirements for a possible clean sheet design to come later.


HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA—An unmanned version of the U-2 Dragon Lady is among the list of platforms being considered by Lockheed Martin for the Missile Defense Agency’s stratospheric UAV-borne laser demonstrator program.
The Cold War spy plane’s structural integrity, modular payload bays, high power output and open mission system architecture has made it ideal for accommodating experimental payloads over the years. But Lockheed won’t confirm if it has actually chosen the GE F118-powered U-2S as its preferred airborne testbed.

Having long abandoned a Boeing 747-based chemical laser approach, the agency now wants to use remotely operated, high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft equipped with high-power electric lasers to shoot down ballistic missiles in their boost phase. To prove the concept, the government is planning a series of missile intercepts in 2020-21, using a lower-power laser at first. It will put up to two industry teams on contract this fall for preliminary design and fabrication of flying laser testbed aircraft beginning in 2018.

aviationweek.com...
edit on 8/18/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 01:38 PM
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(facepalm)

(Jedi handwave) You do not see an optical turret on that platform. You will forget this idea. You want to go home and rethink your life.



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 04:10 PM
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AI neural networks on planes????

Where did that go.... oh



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Technology advancing.....



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Admit that you are Peter Merlin...
Admit it...



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 05:54 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

It's interesting, however, I would have to just call it 'pie in the sky'. Or a bit of disinformation. I find it very inplausible that a craft such as this is feasible. The future is in low earth space based satellites with laser capabilities.....which I do not have any proof, but I believe they are already deployed. The advantages of a satellite in space has 100 fold more benefits than an unmanned craft trying to fly to a destination. I guess I am just skeptical. If the NRO doesn't have something already, then the DIA or the CIA do.

Cheers



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: Iamnotadoctor

Lol. I've been in the presence of both at the same time so if he is, he's the world's greatest illusionist with aspirations of competing in the baha1000.



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 08:18 PM
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More Powa Captain,we need more Powa!!!!!!!!



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 10:18 PM
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a reply to: Darkinsider

I tend to agree with this idea but we need a smaller scale contingency as to not show our hand during a small actor "emergency" situation. Basically a North Korea or Iran type of scenario. We wouldn't blow the cover on any star-wars type systems for that kind of an intercept. This high altitude systems would be for forward deployed insurance during a theater crisis condition, they'd never be able to intercept the amount of missiles Russia or even China could lob at us. Plus flying a U-2 near their airspace is much less diplomatically political than deploying a THAAD system across the border, as we've seen recently.



posted on Aug, 18 2016 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: Iamnotadoctor

I wish. I've had some really interesting conversations with him though. He's a lot of fun to sit and talk to.



posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 01:16 AM
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originally posted by: Blackfinger
More Powa Captain,we need more Powa!!!!!!!!


what a REAL GENIUS you are!!



posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 01:53 AM
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a reply to: Darkinsider

THANK YOU!
Been saying THAT for years,we won't know squat until they actually fire ..or maybe all these asteroids that are exploding are the result of a global network.



posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 11:15 AM
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originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: Iamnotadoctor

Lol. I've been in the presence of both at the same time so if he is, he's the world's greatest illusionist with aspirations of competing in the baha1000.


I need his autograph too lol!!



posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 11:16 AM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
a reply to: Darkinsider

THANK YOU!
Been saying THAT for years,we won't know squat until they actually fire ..or maybe all these asteroids that are exploding are the result of a global network.


We could have a laser defense for NA if they would just wire 3-6 nuclear power plants together to power a massive FEL laser with a huge spinning mirror in outer space.



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 11:41 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
The Missile Defense Agency is looking at a new airborne laser platform, and some of the potential demonstrators will surprise you. Lockheed is taking a long look at an unmanned U-2 as one possibility.


turns out Lockheed got the contract
blog.executivebiz.com...

puzzles me why this program is in the white but anyway

TheDrive is already looking for an Lockheed HALE UAV for the program:
www.thedrive.com...

I dont think they would try to put it in TR-X unless they already built a prototype which is probably not the case.
Some Kind of demonstrator from either the LRSB or RQ-180 programs like the article states is a good bet but it would mean revealing stuff from those programs... probably not going to happen.

Shame Northrop didnt get it really. Put it in the RQ-180 frame and be done with it.



posted on Oct, 12 2017 @ 12:13 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

Wrong contract. That's for shield, not the mda demo.



posted on Oct, 12 2017 @ 12:14 AM
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Ya know...airborne lasers date back to the Carter administration.

Personally I wouldn't give the MDA another penny until they shoot down a DPRK missile. The agency is such a money pit.

Regarding high altitude being favorable to lasers, much like in satellite based photography, it is the atmosphere near the ground that matters. Most of the atmospheric interference is in the last 2.5 miles. That is why if you throw enough hardware at it, a satellite photo can have the same resolution as a U-2 photo.



posted on Oct, 12 2017 @ 12:30 AM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: mightmight

Wrong contract. That's for shield, not the mda demo.


Sorry what is for the shield? The articles i linked and this thread talk about the Low-power Laser Demonstrator phase 1. Which is the program to shoot down ballistic missiles in the boost phase using lasers on UAVs.



posted on Oct, 12 2017 @ 05:48 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

huh. Lockheed has been out for their win with SHIELD (a laser win) but Ive not heard anything about the MDA contract.



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: anzha

They've been talking about it for a few months now. There were a few articles that Northrop was looking at putting a laser on a Global Hawk, and basically doing a more efficient, less godawful nasty YAL-1.

www.flightglobal.com...

Lockheed never really said anything about their idea though.
edit on 10/13/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



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