CONTENT PREVIEW
Industry

USAF issues RFP for fighter aircraft laser weapon

06 January 2017
Artist's concept of Northrop Grumman's Next-Generation Air Dominance fighter using a laser to destroy incoming missiles. Source: Northrop Grumman

The US Air Force (USAF) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) related to its efforts to field a laser-based self-protection system for its tactical combat aircraft.

The RFP, posted by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, Laser Division (AFRL/RDL) on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website on 5 January, seeks research proposals for the service's Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE) project, which is geared at integrating a defensive laser weapon aboard current and future fighter-sized aircraft.

"The objective of LANCE is to perform research and development activities necessary to design, fabricate, and deliver a reliable, ruggedised high-power laser (with excellent beam quality and compact design) for integration within an aerodynamic integrating structure for use during flight testing on tactical aircraft for self-defence research during Phase II of the Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD)," the solicitation said.

At this stage the AFRL/RDL is seeking innovative research and development solutions to advance state-of-the-art laser technologies, to demonstrate performance, and to assess the operational utility of a compact, ruggedised, high-power laser in all potential inbound threat geometries on a tactical aircraft flying in transonic through potentially supersonic regimes.

The scope of the research and development includes development, design, fabrication, and documentation of a novel laser subsystem that fits within the demanding size and mass constraints of the SHiELD aerodynamic integrating structure. The laser will be housed in a supersonic flight-capable pod to be developed under the Laser Pod Research and Development (LPRD) contract.

As noted by the AFRL/RDL, the US government is anticipating a two-phase approach for the SHiELD ATD effort. The first phase consists of low-power tests and performance demonstrations of the beam control subsystem (BCS) and other laser support subsystems at transonic speeds and aero-effects data collection under supersonic flight conditions for laser effectiveness on target.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options: ihs.com/contact



(328 of 614 words)
ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT