Despite advancements in technology, there might not be political will to start equipping Air Force planes with lasers, according to Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., co-chair of the Congressional Directed Energy Caucus.
“I’m just not sure that that’s really where the interest or the money is going forward,” Lamborn said Tuesday. “Advanced systems unfortunately can take a back seat if sequestration continues to limit dollars.”
He was speaking at the Directed Energy Summit hosted by defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and the think tank Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The Air Force’s previous effort, the Airborne Laser Test Bed, was scrapped in 2012 due to funding issues. The modified Boeing 747 designed to test the lasers was sent to the scrapyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, nicknamed “the Boneyard.”
But Lamborn said he hopes to change the minds of many of his congressional colleagues, arguing that directed energy weapons can provide the American military with an edge in the coming years and should be a priority for the public and private sectors