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US Navy provides down drone with all-electrical laser weapon for first time

What just occurred? In what could be viewed as a indicator of the usually frighteningly unsure occasions we live in, the US navy has shot down a drone using an all-electric powered laser for the first time. The armed forces branch’s Layered Laser Defense (LLD) took down the machine, which was representing a subsonic cruise missile, in the course of checks in February this yr.

The LLD weapon, designed and designed by Lockheed Martin, is in a position to consider out unmanned aerial systems, rapidly assault boats, and, making use of its large-resolution telescope, in-sure air threats.

February’s checks were being carried out by the Business of Naval Analysis at the US Army’s Higher Energy Laser Units Examination Facility at White Sands Missile Selection in New Mexico. The LLD was analyzed against a vast selection of targets, such as unmanned fastened-winged aerial cars and quadcopters as well as the higher-speed drones that acted as subsonic cruise missile replacements.

The Navy states that laser weapons have quite a few benefits. In addition to identifying and examining the destruction they inflict on targets, lasers can disable sensors or dazzle forces devoid of blinding them. And currently being all-electrical, they require no explosives or propellants, earning them safer. Moreover, as prolonged as electrical power is out there from the ship carrying them, all-electric lasers present theoretically unrestricted ammo at a cost of all around $1 for every shot, writes New Atlas.

“The Navy executed comparable assessments during the 1980s but with chemical-dependent laser systems that offered major logistics obstacles for fielding in an operational setting,” mentioned Dr. Frank Peterkin, ONR’s directed energy portfolio manager. “And, in the long run, those people kinds of lasers did not transition to the fleet or any other provider.”

Although there are now no strategies to place the LLD into action, the US Army intends to subject directed electrical power weapons as component of its quick-range defense devices (SHORAD) as early as this yr, experiences Intriguing Engineering.

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