Monday, January 9, 2017

U.S. Air Force issues RFP for aircraft laser weapons

U.S. Air Force issues RFP for aircraft laser weapons: The U.S. Air Force has issued a request for proposal to develop laser protection systems for its fleet of tactical fighter aircraft.

The competitive request aims to solicit research for the Air Force Research Laboratory's Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments project, or LANCE. Under the program, researchers will investigate laser-based solutions for defending pilots from a variety of anti-aircraft threats.

"The objective of LANCE is to perform research and development activities necessary to design, fabricate and deliver a reliable, ruggedized high-power laser (with excellent beam quality and compact design) for integration within an aerodynamic integrating structure for use during flight testing on tactical aircraft for self-defense research during Phase II of the Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHIELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD)," the request says.

The Air Force expects to award only one new contract for the project, but did not disclose an official number. The total estimated cost for the award is $35 million.