US Navy's experience destroying high-speed UAVs during flight

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The U.S. Navy has successfully tested a high-speed UAV in flight with a solid state laser, pictured here. Photo: US Navy

Pentagon: The United States has successfully demonstrated laser destruction of a fast-flying UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).

The experiment was performed in the Atlantic by a U.S. Navy ship with a solid state laser mounted on an amphibious transport ship. The weapon has been dubbed the Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD), which uses a high-energy laser and targets drones that fly at high speeds and high altitudes instead of a normal quadcopter. The experiment was conducted at the famous Pearl Harbor.

"The experiences of the Solid State Laser Weapon System Demonstrator will provide us with important information and experience in dealing with threats such as UAVs and small aircraft," said Kerry Sanders, a U.S. Navy captain and ship commander.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VME8_OLDzk (/ embed)

Kerry also said that the solid state laser weapon has a unique capability that will help advance future weapons. It is possible that this will completely change the meaning of naval warfare. However, the US Navy said the reason for the experiment was that the US Navy was facing the constant threat of small planes, armored boats and UAVs, which led to the creation of the system. A 30 kW laser was used in this experiment.

According to the navy, improving the laser will also help protect against long-range missiles, he said, noting China in particular. On the other hand, the US military is also working on its own laser weapon which will use a 300 kW laser.