They will be creating a detailed plan for high-energy lasers and radio frequency weapons.
AFRL (US Air Force Research Lab) plans to test the laser on a tactical fighter jet by 2021. They have issued contracts as part of AFRL's Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) program, and these will be a major step forward in the maturation of protective airborne laser systems.
The AFRL has split the SHiELD program into three separate development contracts:
1 a USD39 million contract, awarded to Northrop Grumman in August 2016, for the development and production of the SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects (STRAFE) – the beam control system which characterises the flight environment for atmospheric disturbances that could distort the laser beam, acquires and tracks incoming targets, determines an aim point for the laser, then 'shapes' and focuses the outgoing beam on the target;