Air Force’s SHiELD shoots down airborne missiles with laser

May 6, 2019

Stars and Stripes – The Air Force said it successfully shot missiles out of the sky with a ground-based laser system that it plans to make small enough to fit on its aircraft.

The Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator Advanced Technology Demonstration Program, or SHiELD, conducted the tests on April 23, an Air Force Research Laboratory statement said Friday.

“The successful test is a big step ahead for directed energy systems and protection against adversarial threats,” said Maj. Gen. William Cooley, AFRL commander. “The ability to shoot down missiles with speed-of-light technology will enable air operation in denied environments.”

During the tests at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the laser system engaged and shot down multiple air-launched missiles in flight. It was not immediately clear whether the laser system shot down the targets one after the other, or if they were downed individually in separate tests.

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