Photos: Laser weapons take to the air

Photos: Laser weapons take to the air

Summary: Military researchers are studying ways to mount laser weapons on aircraft, primarily to destroy ballistic missiles. Here, a modified Boeing 747-400 freighter undergoes flight testing.

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TOPICS: Travel Tech
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  • Photos: Laser weapons take to the air

    An artist's rendering of a space-based relay mirror, which would redirect laser energy from one location to another.

  • Photos: Laser weapons take to the air

    Researchers expect that airborne lasers will eventually be small enough to be mounted on smaller fighter jets. The Pentagon expects to have a 15-kilowatt prototype ready by the end of 2005, and a 150-kilowatt version ready by 2007, according to the New Scientist report.

  • Photos: Laser weapons take to the air

    Not all of the military's use of lasers would be in weaponry. At the Starfire Optical Range on Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, a sodium laser combines with deformable optics to help clear up atmospheric distortions in gathering images of objects in space.

Topic: Travel Tech

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