Anti-aircraft laser weapon demonstrated

Jan. 10, 2013 at 5:38 PM

DUSSELDORF, Germany, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A German defense company has demonstrated a laser weapon it says successfully shot down two drone aircraft at a distance of a mile.

Rheinmetall Defense said the high-energy system using two lasers has also been used to cut through a steel girder almost two-thirds of a mile away, the BBC reported.

The laser weapons system, with a power output of 50 kilowatts, used a combination of radar and optical systems to detect and track two incoming drones, the company said.

Radar provided an approximate location of the targets, it said, then the optical system took over to pinpoint the drone's position.

Rheinmetall said it plans to make the laser system mobile and it testing it mounted on a number of vehicles.

Weapons based on lasers are being developed by a number of countries, and U.S. company Raytheon introduced a 50 kilowatt anti-aircraft system at the Farnborough Airshow in 2010, which has also successfully downed unmanned aircraft in tests.

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