By James Pero For Dailymail.com
Published: 20:52 BST, 3 May 2019 | Updated: 21:40 BST, 3 May 2019
With a successful test, the U.S. Air Force is closing in on being able to stop enemy missiles in mid-flight using a sophisticated laser machine.
The laser defense system, called Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator, or SHiELD, successfully shot down multiple air-launched missiles according to a statement from the U.S. Air Force.
Behind the laser system is a technology that the military calls 'directed energy systems.'
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SHiELD as the technolgoy is know hopes to one day be light enough to be attached to a war jet where it will be able to shoot down enemy missiles
This class of military device weaponizes frequencies like microwaves for both offensive and defensive purposes. Think, a mounted satellite that can fry hardware in trucks, cars and other vehicles.
'This critical demonstration shows that our directed energy systems are on track to be a game changer for our warfighters,' said Dr. Kelly Hammett, director of AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate.
Similar technology mounted on ground vehicles has already been tested successfully, staving off various types and sizes of drones.
The high-power microwave laser is being developed by Raytheon and can identify, track, and disable adversarial drones.
For directed energy technology focused on defending against missiles, however, progress has been less forthcoming.
Unlike with drones, anti-missile tech, which the Air Force hopes will be able to guard against ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles, has the added responsibility of