The famous AC-130 gunship planes are about to get a few upgrades.
Laser cannons (guns) are to be installed soon.
Most people have heard of (or seen) these aircraft at some point or another. Usually this military workhorse plane is equipped with large machine gun cannons which can be deployed out the side of the aircraft.
This new laser system will be based on the US Navy’s electric laser program (as opposed to chemical lasers).
“The top brass in the U.S. Air Force wants to put laser weapons on ground-attack aircraft.
Speaking at a conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, the head of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, said he wanted to explore the possibility of outfitting an AC-130 Ghostrider aircraft with laser weapons.
What he didn’t say was whether the airborne laser would be powered by chemical or electric energy?
The Ghostrider is a heavily armed ground-attack aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The gunship is designed so that weapons are fired from a single side. By circling stationary targets, the aircraft can sustain persistent fire for an extended period of time.
Here is how Tyler Rogoway at Foxtrot Alpha described the AC-130:
The AC-130 flying gunship fleet is one of the most fabled and feared assets in the entire USAF inventory. Known for its ability to unleash a broadside of cannon fire in the dead of night, the newest of the AC-130 lot is more about smart bombs than raining lead and howitzer shells down on the enemy.
The Air Force spent about $4.3 billion pursuing airborne lasers that could destroy ballistic missiles between 1994 and 2007, according to the Congressional Research Service. In particular, the Air Force focused primarily on chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) systems, which could be mounted in the aft section of a modified Boeing 747 aircraft. Northrop Grumman was the key company leading the COIL effort.
In 2009, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates killed the Air Force’s airborne laser program as part of an effort to reduce spending and reform the military’s acquisition process.
Unlike the chemically-powered lasers pursued by the Air Force, the U.S. Navy has focused on electrically powered lasers. The latter have proven to be far more successful than the former. In December, the Navy completed the first successful deployment of an electrically-powered laser weapon system aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf.
The US Navy has been leading the way in the US DEWO program. The Directed Energy Warfare Office of the US Navy has been developing multiple new weapon systems for ship based warfare (lasers).
The new electric powered lasers are now reaching a point where their power can surpass any former chemical laser. This new step forward is due to more advanced electrical systems being developed which increase the overall wattage output of the laser itself.
The Navy LaWS (laser weapon system) has been installed on a ship deployed in the Middle east, and has undergone extensive trials via land/sea based tests.
Two of the tests are seen below:
No doubt the new Navy railgun system could also be installed in one of these gunships!
The railgun will be rolled out later this year on a special new vessel designed to be quick and maneuverable. If they can stabilize this railgun for aircraft, it could take out anything below.
Here is a test firing of the new railgun system, even in ultra-slow motion its fast.
Using the same kind of lasers, the US Army is able to shoot down incoming MORTARS, drones, and aircraft !
The Army created the HEL-MD (high energy laser mobile device), which is a truck mounted laser system, capable of targeting from near ground to full 90 degree angle upwards.
Watch the mortar , and drone shootdown tests here: (super-mega death ray is the new slang name for this device)
Overall, lasers make up just one component of the next generation weapons being developed by the military.
To understand what is going on, where we are going, and more importantly to understand how we are at a point in history (like the switch from swords to guns in the 1600’s)…… I suggest watching my 4 part series on “Directed Energy Weapons”:
We are literally at a turning point in history for weaponry. Directed Energy Weapons, lasers, High Power Microwaves (HPM), electromagnetic weapons, and even plasma weapons are being developed. If the Army can melt incoming mortars, this makes howitzer type cannons useless.
If they can melt mortars now, sooner or later they will be able to melt incoming bullets. When that day comes, guns will be as useless as an arrow against a tank.
The ‘future’ of weapons is officially here.
Keep in mind, High Power Lasers can be used to control the weather, per Dr. Michio Kaku himself!