Fourth generation fighters (F-16, F-18) and fifth-generation fighters (F-35, F-22) can be seen by shorter range radar. They only have a 20-30 percent chance of evading new short range missiles. New 50 kilowatt and 150-kilowatt combat lasers that will be added to fighters in the next few years will provide extra defenses to hinder missiles.
Combat Lasers could increase the survivability of both stealth and non-stealth fighters and force more missiles to be used to overcome defenses.
The US Air Force LANCE laser program will use fiber-optic cables to merge beams to reach tens of kilowatts of power. Its modular design allows scaling of power by adding modules. It is 40 percent efficient in converting energy to laser power.
All major nations are working on combat lasers. The US, Russia, UK, China, Japan etc…
Industrial lasers are common so there will only be a brief advantage for the first nations to make lasers compact and tough enough to be used in combat.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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