Russia develops powerful laser-based weapon for aircrafts

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The Russian defense industry has announced it will implement powerful lasers on its new sixth-generation fighter, according to The Washington Examiner. The lasers will be able to “burn” enemy homing systems on projectiles fired in their direction, which will make them unable to hit a target.

Adviser to the First Deputy CEO of Radio-Electronic Technologies Group (KRET), Vladimir Mikheyev discussed the significance of this development, as well as the continuing experimentation with unmanned drone technology

Mikheyev issued the following statement to Russian state news agency TASS:

“We already have laser protection systems installed on aircraft and helicopters, and now we are talking about developments in the field of powered lasers that will be able to physically destroy attacking missiles’ homing heads. … Roughly speaking, we’ll be able to burn out ‘the eyes’ of missiles that ‘look at us.’ Naturally, such systems will be installed on sixth-generation aircraft as well.

One drone in a formation flight will carry microwave weapons, including guided electronic munitions while another drone will carry radio-electronic suppression and destruction means, and a third UAV will be armed with a set of standard weaponry. Each specific task is solved by different armaments.”

In addition to developing drones, Mikheyev claims microwave weapons and advanced radar systems will accompany the laser components on manned aircrafts:

“The use of microwave weapons is highly problematic for a plane with a pilot due to the need to preserve his life. But if we develop an additional system of protection against our own microwave weapons, we’ll lose even more space and the weight margin. Besides, even the most complex and effective system can be insufficiently efficient.

The radio-photonic radar will be able to see farther than existing radars, in our estimates. And, as we irradiate an enemy in an unprecedentedly wide range of frequencies, we’ll know its position with the highest accuracy and after processing, we’ll get an almost photographic image of it — radio vision. … This is important for determining the type [of an aircraft]: The plane’s computer will immediately and automatically identify a flying object, for example, an F-18 with specific types of missile armament.”

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