Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
China reportedly wants to slap laser cannons on its fighter jets
The Chinese military is exploring a potential laser weapon system to mount on various aircraft to give them an extra edge in a dogfight, according to a pair of recent procurement notices.
The notices, posted to the official weapons procurement website of the People's Liberation Army and first described by the South China Morning Post, detail a need for information regarding potential procurement plans for an "airborne laser attack pod" or "laser attack platform."
While the information in each notice is reportedly marked confidential, the government-owned Global Times suggests that such airborne laser platforms could be utilized to either intercept incoming missiles or potentially down enemy aircraft "in a dogfight."
According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese military is already hard at work on a prototype airborne laser weapon, although it's unclear whether the technology required to fully weaponize a laser system is fully mature yet.
It's worth noting that the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation told Global Times that its ground-based LW-30 laser defense weapon system, first unveiled to the public in 2018, could successfully defend aircraft against airborne munitions.
Naturally, the PLA isn't the only military thinking about employing laser weapons for aerial combat. In January 2019, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Review presented the idea of employing drone-based lasers for missile defense missions, as Defense One reported at the time.
In April, the Air Force Research Laboratory stated that its Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHIELD) —which successfully shot down "multiple air-launched missiles in flight" during a test at the White Sands Test Range in New Mexico at the time — could easily be reduced to a small pod for testing on an F-15 by 2021.
While ruggedizing and incorporating any directed-energy system into a moving aircraft presents a host of engineering challenges, who knows: perhaps, during the dogfights of the future, aviators who are too close for missiles will find themselves switching to lasers instead of guns.
About a dozen more US troops medevaced from Iraq over possible concussions following Iran's missile attack
In a Galaxy — err, I mean, on a military base far, far away, soldiers are standing in solidarity with galactic freedom fighters.
Sitting at the top of an Army press release from March 2019, regarding the East Africa Response Force's deployment to Gabon, the photo seems, at first glance, just like any other: Soldiers on the move.
But if you look closer at the top right, you'll find something spectacular: A Rebel Alliance flag.
The first of the CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft the Navy plans on adopting as its carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft of choice has successfully completed its first flight operations, manufacturer Boeing announced on Tuesday.
Another 300 lawsuits against 3M flooded federal courts this month as more military veterans accuse the behemoth manufacturer of knowingly making defective earplugs that caused vets to lose hearing during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan or while training on U.S. military bases.
On another front, 3M also is fighting lawsuits related to a class of chemicals known as PFAS, with the state of Michigan filing a lawsuit last week against the Maplewood-based company.
To date, nearly 2,000 U.S. veterans from Minnesota to California and Texas have filed more than 1,000 lawsuits.
GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korea said on Tuesday it was no longer bound by commitments to halt nuclear and missile testing, blaming the United States' failure to meet a year-end deadline for nuclear talks and "brutal and inhumane" U.S. sanctions.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set an end-December deadline for denuclearization talks with the United States and White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said at the time the United States had opened channels of communication.
O'Brien said then he hoped Kim would follow through on denuclearization commitments he made at summits with U.S. President Donald Trump.