United States Military Aviation

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
13,061
2,599

B-21 Bomber Delivers Pentagon Surprise: It’s Under Budget So Far​

  • Air Force devotes savings to reducing technical risks later
  • Northrop Grumman won bomber contract over Lockheed-Boeing
Artist rendering of  B-21 bomber
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
13,061
2,599

1656616443618.png


Perhaps it was apropos that around the same time trailers for the upcoming Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” were circulating on the blogosphere General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced that a U.S. Government appointed independent measurement team had completed beam quality and power measurements of its Gen 3 High Energy Laser System (HEL).



The new laser represents the third generation of technology originally developed under the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS, Gen 1) program. The Gen 3 Laser employs a number of upgrades resulting in improved beam quality, increased electrical to optical efficiency, and reduced size and weight. The recently certified Gen 3 laser assembly is very compact at only 1.3 x 0.4 x 0.5 meters. The system is powered by a compact Lithium-ion battery supply designed to demonstrate a deployable architecture for tactical platforms.



The laser’s run time is said to be limited only by the magazine depth of the battery system. During testing, beam quality was reported to be constant throughout the entire run, which was more than 30 seconds. These measurements confirm that the beam quality of this new generation of electrically-pumped lasers can be maintained above the 50 kilowatt level.



The Gen 3 HEL tested is expected to be used on the Tactical Laser Weapon Module (TLWM) currently under development. Featuring a flexible, deployable architecture, the TLWM is designed for use on land, sea, and airborne platforms and will be available in four versions at the 50, 75, 150, and 300 kilowatt laser output levels. GA-ASI expects deployment of the TLMW on the Predator C Avenger by 2018. The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) also has asked industry to provide a 150-kw laser weapon suitable for installation on future DDG-51-class destroyers.
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
13,061
2,599
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The Air Force conducted another successful hypersonic test off the Southern California coast on July 12, 2022. The Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon Booster Test Flight-3 was the 12th flight for the program and third release demonstration. The AGM-183A weapon system reached hypersonic speeds and primary and secondary objectives were met.
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
13,061
2,599
Happy 50th Anniversary, F-15 Eagle!
(First flight: July 27th 1972)
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
14,983
10,992
India
"E-3 cannot see stealthy aircraft like J-20 out to long ranges where it can be useful, that's why I need that E-7"


@randomradio

Sensors advantage is just a bonus. Had the E-3 continued to be reliable, they wouldn't have made plans to replace it, which is what he starts out with. It's obvious a new platform will come with better hardware that can see more, but my point has always been a big lumbering crewed AWACS will be easily killed anyway, so the sensor doesn't matter.
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
13,061
2,599
E-3 has passive as well as active capabilities, that also appears to be the opinion of some random Chinese guy. The US has had stealth technology for longer than anyone else, so they're probably experts in knowing how to detect it.



 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: RISING SUN

Lolwa

Senior member
Feb 6, 2020
1,688
1,056
Delhi
E-3 has passive as well as active capabilities, that also appears to be the opinion of some random Chinese guy. The US has had stealth technology for longer than anyone else, so they're probably experts in knowing how to detect it.



For all the mockery the j-20 gets its RCS is somewhere near 0.01-0.1 sqm RCS at worst. That is good enough for the j-20 to get close enough to fire it's pl-15 on a superhornet or E-3. The question is whether the Americans can reliably detect the j-20 without using radars like the Rafale does.