Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the University of Notre Dame, has demonstrated the airworthiness of a new beam control turret being developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and AFRL to give 360-degree coverage for high-energy laser weapons operating on military aircraft. A research aircraft equipped with the Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control (ABC) turret conducted eight flights in Michigan.
The big thing here is that they’ve mounted it on a small business jet instead of the previous incarnation, which was a Boeing 747. What isn’t mentioned though, is the power of the laser – can it knock out ICBMs and aircraft? Smaller missles? What is the recharge time between firings and how long can the laser fire? Are we at the point where dogfighting is truly becoming obsolete?