On March 4, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio awarded a fixed-price R&D contract with a total value of $8.107308 million in La Jolla, California, to develop a chip-size “optical phase”. Array and Lidar” system.
It is understood that the system utilizes the results of the first phase of the “Modular Optical Aperture Building Module” program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense, and is positioned in the second and third phases of the plan, respectively. The contract will be performed in La Jolla, California, and is expected to be completed by November 1, 2020. In addition, this contract award was the result of a competitive acquisition and only one quotation was received. When the contract was awarded, $1.4 million had been allocated from research, testing, development, and appraisal funding for the 2018 fiscal year.
The US Department of Defense will study the deployment of space-based anti-missile green laser pointer weapons. A few days ago, a senior US government official stated that the Department of Defense will study the possibility of space weapons, which may be the use of particle beams, ray guns, space lasers, or orbital missiles to intercept missiles launched by the enemy from the launch pad. Michael Griffin, the deputy secretary of research and engineering at the U.S. Department of Defense, promoted the expansion of the U.S. missile defense system to cope with the growing Russian capabilities. He suggested that the United States should develop directed energy weapons in space, including laser weapons, to shoot down the missile when it is in the ascending phase.
It is understood that the reason for proposing the new weapon is partly because John Hayteng, the commander of the US Strategic Command, once proposed to deploy a space-based sensor layer in low earth orbit in 2023 to closely monitor the mobile missiles of Russia, North Korea and other countries. In addition, the official said that the report calls for more research on space weapons, but has not yet made a specific decision and will not “guide any deployment or any specific research and development.”
The U.S. Air Force plans to conduct experiments on directional weapons such as laser pointer and microwaves. The U.S. Air Force recently announced that it will carry out tests of directed energy weapons such as lasers and microwaves at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and is currently formulating specific plans. The US Air Force stated that the purpose of this experiment is to deeply understand the various strike efficiencies of existing high-power microwave weapons and high-energy laser weapons.
In October 2018, the Directed Energy Department of the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Cortland Air Force Base signed a contract with the company for the “Solid State Laser Effect and Modeling Project” worth 36 million US dollars. The US Air Force has also publicly stated that it has conducted multiple laser weapon tests at the Baisha Missile Range since 2009.