23/09/2015 08:58 BST | Updated 23/09/2015 08:59 BST

US Fighter Jets Could Get Laser Cannons And Cyber Weapons As Soon As 2020

Not content US Air Force general has predicted that fighter jets could come fitted with attack-based laser cannons as soon as 2020.

General Hawk Carlisle made the rather worrying prediction at the Air Force Association Air & Space conference during a presentation in which the general talked about the 'fifth generation' of airborne fighter jets reports Ars Technica.

The weapon that General Carlisle is referring to is DARPA's HELLADS weapon which has just started field testing.

DARPA was set the task of creating an offensive laser weapon that would be small, lightweight and yet more powerful than anything that had been built before.

With a power output of 150kW it'll be one of the most powerful military lasers available and yet will be small enough and light enough to attach to an aircraft such as a fighter or bomber.


To put that into perspective, the Navy's massive anti-drone laser that is currently being tested in the Mediterranean has a reported output of just 30kW.

It's believed that these new fighter-mounted lasers would be powerful enough to shoot not just drones, but also fighters and ground-based vehicles, potentially offering itself as a full replacement for the machine guns that are currently deployed.