So it may look like the MiG-41 aircraft, which will be the carrier for the latest laser weapons.
Lasers on planes and helicopters as a protective system replaced the “heat traps”. They began to use combat aircraft in the 60-ies of the last century, when there was a man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) that shoot missiles with infrared homing heads. Rockets reacted to the heat generated aircraft engine, and hit right on target, which led to large military losses.
To combat them, experts have proposed a solution: the shooting of “heat traps”. They are designed to deceive homing missiles, diverting them from the aircraft. This technique is very effectively used for many years. But now the bright picture is shooting of fireworks of flares is only an attribute of jewelry at an Airshow.
Modern missiles are much “smarter”, conventional heat trap they will not spend it. They are able to distinguish the real target from false. As a result, the aircraft began to use the system of laser protection.
In our country in 2009 with this purpose was created the laser complex “President-s”. During its tests the aircraft on which it was installed, the shooting was carried out of the best in the world of MANPADS “Igla”. All of its missiles missed its target and self-destructed.
Moreover, in contrast to their Western counterparts in the Russian laser complex “President-s” is used multispectral laser source, which detects the operating range of the homing all known in the world of missiles. Today, all aerial devices designed to work in “hot spots”, are equipped with such active laser protection from MANPADS.
However, in recent years, our defense industry is actively engaged in the development of powerful laser systems, able not only to protect the aircraft, but also to destroy the self-guided warheads of attacking missiles. Such laser weapons will be installed in the new combat aircraft of the 6th generation.
That Russia has been the creation of a fighting laser complex, in his address to the Federal Assembly on 1 March 2018 was officially announced by President Putin. To illustrate his words were even shown pictures of this weapon. However, it was not aviation, and ground, mounted on trailer. He hasn’t even had names. Later, when the President invited the entire world to think and work together to give names to new types of weapons, this laser was named “Peresvet”.
The complex became a result of the development of those design developments, which were conducted in Soviet times. Designers have long understood that a laser weapon has a great advantage over other types of combat systems. Primarily because of its ability suddenly and instantaneously (at the speed of light) to attack the enemy. In addition, it does not require arsenals for the storage of ammunition, in combat does not need constant recharging.
In 80-ies of the last century, military developers of a number of countries recognized that the most convenient form-based laser systems may be the carrier aircraft. And many countries have worked to develop such weapons.
For example, in the US, these developments took place in the framework of the “Strategic defense initiative” (SDI) since the late 70-ies. The development of anti-missile laser was engaged in company Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Boeing made aviation platform under the laser, Northrop Grumman — the actual installation, and Lockheed Martin — a movable turret and fine guidance.
In 1985 completed the first ground test of the system. Then, the “death ray” heated and blew up a stationary fuel tank 1 km away. This weapon consisted of infrared sensors to detect targets and a system of lenses to focus the beams of three lasers — two for “illumination” purposes and one combat, with a capacity of 1 MW. The system was tested annually. However, on the efficiency of its developers to come and failed. By the end of 2011, the Pentagon shut down the program, which spent $5 billion.
The USSR also conducted a similar work. And much more successfully. At the end of 1980-ies in the Trinity Institute of innovative and thermonuclear research was created with carbon dioxide laser power of 1 MW. It can work not only at the ground enemy, but also by satellites and ballistic missiles. As an air carrier of this laser was developed the aircraft under the index A-60 (A-60СЭ) on the basis of Il-76.
By the early 90s the defense industry was ready to begin production of this new weapon, but then came perestroika. After the Soviet Union collapsed. Problems laser combat has gone far on the back burner and work on it was discontinued.
According to experts, the US tried to buy this almost finished project, and it even almost had them sold, but the survivors in an age of chaos, the state concern “Gazprom” has funded the creation of the civilian version of the military laser called mobile laser technological complex MLTK-50.
In gas wells it was used during the fires, to remove oil film from water surface. He was cutting the ship steel of thickness up to 120 mm at a distance of 30 meters, was able to cut the solid rock in the quarries and much more.
And finally, in 2012, the military again resumed work on the creation of combat lasers capable of destroying ballistic missiles, aircraft and satellites. Tasks that are put before developers had a wide range: intercept high-speed aerial targets, disabling monitoring devices of the enemy missile and anti-satellite defense.
At the same time, according to our experts, it was announced about resumption of work on the aircraft-carrier of laser weapons, known since Soviet times as A-60. And, according to the specialists, the fighter 6th generation MiG-41, which is scheduled to release by 2035, needs to be integrated anti-missile laser.
One of the potential goals for him should be U.S. hypersonic missile Boeing X-51A, which are developed in the States under the concept of “prompt global strike”. These missiles need to reach a speed of 7.5 thousand km/h. For comparison, the MiG-31, considered one of the fastest planes in the world, accelerates to 3 thousand km/h.
In 2009, the first test missile X-51A, during which she was able to overcome the speed of 5 Mach numbers (five times the speed of sound). As a carrier was used in the bomber b-52. It was planned that arms the missile will arrive in 2017. But in 2013, its tests have not confirmed the declared characteristics. The X-51A could fly only 430 km in 6 minutes, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 5.1. The next few tests also ended in failure. Now the Pentagon says that the X-51A will go into service no earlier than 2020.
According to experts, Russian developers of laser weapons will do their job faster. The first combat lasers, at the request of the chief of staff, had entered the army. While in ground form. Modification to air carrier also in the offing.