CHICAGO, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Boeing this week introduced its Compact Laser Weapons System, a portable device capable of using an invisible laser to take down targets several hundreds of meters away.
The aerospace company designed the device to focus energy on a small enough spot to heat and destroy targets, including moving ones, like drones.
"Think of it like a welding torch being put on target but from many hundreds of meters away," Boeing engineer Isaac Neil said in a Boeing video introducing the weapon.
The video demonstrates the weapon in action, targeting an unmanned aircraft in flight. A camera mounted to the drone shows fire spontaneously spark on a wing before the aircraft falters and plummets to the ground.
"If you were on the receiving end of laser energy you would have no idea where it was coming from or what was even happening," Neil said.
Boeing said the compact laser weapons system was redesigned -- shedding 40 percent of weight from the beam director -- so it's more portable. The weapon is comprised of four compartments and can be operated by a single person.
The company said the weapon is on the brink of becoming battlefield ready.