LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – The U.S. Air Force is working with Lockheed Martin employees in Colorado to develop lasers on fighter jets.

(credit: CBS)

The hope is the lasers will be used to protect warplanes and their crews from missiles and drones.

(credit: CBS)

Researchers in Lockheed’s Littleton facility will focus on beam control and firing as well as a system to power and cool the laser.

The military wants to have a system ready to test by 2021.