Raytheon Fiber Laser
Spy Drone Killer
Thanks to Senior Chief Sid Busch for finding this story.
New Laser Weapon Blasts Spy Drones Out of the Sky
This photo/ illustration by Raytheon depicts their laser weapon built to shoot down unmanned aircraft. If you think it looks remarkably like the Phalanx CIWS Close In Weapons System, you're right.......it uses the same tracking system.
Fiber-optic lasers are emerging as promising candidates for future weapons-grade solid-state laser systems on jet fighters, land vehicles, and perhaps even man-portable systems.The following video clip is a test firing the company carried out in May of 2010 – The weapon successfully downed four drones over the Pacific Ocean off San Nicolas Island, the naval weapons proving ground off the coast of California during tests conducted with the U.S. Navy this spring. Ed note: You'd think any company capable of shooting down a drone with a light beam would have a video that didn't look like Flash Gordon.
Related color video
The “solid-state fiber laser” is capable of taking out mortar rounds, rockets, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), and even small surface ships by emitting a destructive 50-kilowatt beam of light. Far removed from the first chemical reaction lasers produced several decades ago, Raytheon’s solid-state laser consists of six industrial-strength beams that are produced by channeling extreme amounts of energy through glass or ceramic materials.
July 19, 2010 --
The test involved tracking the drones with sensors used as part of a Raytheon-built ship defense system, and then destroying the aircraft using a high-powered fiber laser.
More about Fiber Lasers
Fiber lasers are more efficient, more easily cooled, small and lightweight, and relatively straightforward to scale up in power, which strengthens their position for future laser weapons programs, says Michael O'Connor, product line manager of laser products at Nufern.
Up to now, weapons-grade lasers primarily have been large, complicated devices capable of operating on large platforms such as jumbo jets, surface ships, and large tractor-trailers. Solid-state lasers, however, have the potential in the near term to operate on relatively small platforms such as jet fighters where they could destroy land vehicles, missiles, or other aircraft.
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