The invention of guns took warfare to another level and now there is another big step heading in the direction of weapons using energy in the near future. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, also known as the AFRL, said it’s on track to demonstrate a working laser weapon on a fighter jet by 2020, according to CNN.
“It really is a national tipping point,” said Kelly Hammett the chief engineer of the Research Laboratory. Technology has evolved and matured to a stage where it has been used in war and can be researched even more to produce destructive weapons. Arming larger planes with laser weapons has actually been possible for years. But the goal the U.S. Air Force is hoping to achieve is to be able to engineer them much smaller and put them on fighter jets.
The AFRL is also working on another idea that sounds like something from Star Wars or Star Trek. It would act as shield that would surround the aircraft 360 degrees and be able to deflect anything that comes inside, like a missile or an enemy jet. To invent a shield like that it would require something that would not interfere with the aerodynamics of the fighter according to Hammett. The U.S. Research Laboratory along with the Pentagon’s Defense Agency, has successfully developed a prototype of a shield that may just work.