US Army successfully shoots down drones with lasers

laser

The US Army has developed a laser that can shoot down drones.

The laser weaponry, named the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, has been put onto a vehicle and the Army has successfully tested it out by shooting down mortar shells and drones. In under a month it was able to incinerate a number of drones as well as 90 mortars. It was developed specifically for use in wars like Afghanistan and Iraq since the soldiers there routinely have to deal with attacks from the air (namely mortars) but can also be used in more conventional warfare.

The weapon was made by Boeing, costs less than other weaponry that serve the same purposes, and has the added benefit of not requiring ammunition. “We’ve got to keep the vehicle fueled up, and that’s it,” Terry Bauer, who is the manager for the program, said. “There’s no missile logistic trail that has to be brought with you.”

He also added that the tests were very successful. “Our first attempt to shoot down a UAV, it disabled it, and brought it down very quickly. We were very happy with the system’s performance.”

The development faze will last a little while longer though, and Bauer doesn’t expect the laser weaponry to be used in combat until 2017 at the earliest. It is also expected that stronger versions of the laser will be tested so that it can take down larger objects, like ballistic missiles.

[Thanks WildCat, via TechBeat]

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