The War Zone: an attempt to install a laser system on a combat aircraft failed in the USA

According to The War Zone portal, another US attempt to install a laser on the AC-130 was unsuccessful.

The U.S. Air Force has encountered difficulties when trying to integrate a high-energy laser system on board the AC-130J Ghostrider fire support aircraft.

The project to install the AHEL (Airborne High Energy Laser) laser “gun” on this modification of the legendary C-130 Hercules transport aircraft has been underway for several years, but at the stage of ground testing, technical problems arose that delayed the integration of the system.

According to The War Zone, citing the US Air Force Special Operations Command, after successful high-power tests on the ground, the AHEL solid-state laser encountered problems that prevented its installation on the intended AC-130J Block 20 aircraft. These difficulties caused the postponement of flight tests, initially planned for fiscal year 2021.

Lockheed Martin, the developer of AHEL, received a contract to implement the project in 2019. However, according to Pentagon budget documents, funding for testing the laser system will cease by 2025.

The installation of a high-energy laser on the AC-130J was supposed to expand the combat capabilities of this fire support aircraft, equipped with a variety of artillery guns up to 105 mm in caliber. It was assumed that AHEL would be able to effectively destroy drones, ground communications equipment and other targets. In total, the US Air Force operates about 30 AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft.

While the Americans faced technical problems, the UK demonstrated successful testing of its own DragonFire laser air defense system, designed to destroy flying targets such as drones. According to British military calculations, the cost of one “shot” from this system is less than $13, which will save on expensive air defense missiles.

Author Vladimir Antonov

Vladimir Antonov – journalist, correspondent for the news service Pravda.Ru

Post Comment