Just my few thoughts ;-)
Using the lift fan in flight would create many problems for the flight profile, not least positive yaw / roll from the rotational torque, secondary
would be heat production from operating the fan with doors closed, remember you can't vent anything otherwise your IR signature would be immense and
those fan operate hot already even full vented.
but the biggest problem is countermeasures, even high power lasers are notoriously easy to deflect, rain, cloud almost anything outside of clean dry
weather can lose you upto 50% of your laser power to target. combination coatings (anything to break up surface smoothness, carbon / ceramic honeycomb
tiles plus glass fragments is the favourite, even industrial lasers have a problem penetrating it in lab conditions. It's a common misconception that
lasers delivery a 'punch' to a target, they don't - even though they carry excited photons to target, most of their energy is in non visible
wavelengths and any visible punch is created by superheating and destruction of surface material (dust, paint, moisture etc)
Add in those problems, trying to track, acquire and lock onto a fast moving target and then deliver a shot is no mean feat, none of this nice gentle
drone footage where the target maintains a nice level flightpath, simple skin detectors can flag up a laser hit and even slight movement will
basically end the laser hit.
on a fighter sized aircraft, energy storage , recharge and discharge are the problem, even with the latest super capacitors as used in the new
prototype railguns BAE are currently testing in Scotland, your max firing time may be upto 10 seconds per shot, unless your target is perfectly
compliant, that's not going to do that much physical damage to a target with any half decent countermeasures
Various companies have been playing with this for the last 20 years, hell BAE had a Tornado with a very hush hush laser and Hitachi capacitor setup
mounted in to 2 empty JP233 weapons pods a few years ago, that was screaming around trying to knock holes in things up at Dundrennan.
They had half of Hitachi's tech boys up there at one point, never seen so many shivering little Jap guys in one place lol
anyway they managed to knock the outer skin off of a few of the static aircraft targets there, even dent a few windows but they were incredibly tight
lipped about the specifications of the equipment (even though we were the security detail) they admitted they didn't believe they could take down a
protected aerial vehicle.
Obviously that was a few years back, tech moves at a fast pace but I doubt the timescale of 3 years to a working system is realistic
edit on 3004America/Chicagob201641120161139 by TheBogmonster because: .