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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Pew, pew, pew. That’s the sound you may be hearing from Air Force jets in the near future.

“I believe we’ll have a directed energy pod we can put on a fighter plane very soon,” Air Force General Hawk Carlisle said at the Air Force Association Air & Space conference. “That day is a lot closer than I think a lot of people think it is.”

“Directed energy pod” means lasers, that will be mounted on American war planes.

They will be designed to knock missiles, drones and other combat aircraft out of the sky, reports Arstechnica.

HELLADS stands for “High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System,” and it seems to be the leading contender for an Air Force energy weapon.

“The goal of the HELLADS program is to develop a 150 kilowatt laser weapon system that is ten times smaller and lighter than current lasers of similar power, enabling integration onto tactical aircraft to defend against and defeat ground threats, “wrote DARPA’s Dr. David Shaver.

Air Force leaders say HELLADS could be field-ready by 2020.

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