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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.
originally posted by: cavtrooper7
a reply to: Darkinsider
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.
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.
originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: mightmight
Wrong contract. That's for shield, not the mda demo.