Tuesday 8 September 2015

Boeing’s New Laser Cannon Kills Drones Mid-Flight


Boeing’s New Laser Cannon – Silent & Invisible

Boeing’s new laser cannon, though silent and invisible can slay enemy drones by taking them within a minute. The Compact Laser Weapons System – CLWS has the potential of tracking down an unmanned aerial vehicle – UAC and eradicate a threat.

 Video of its Compact Laser Weapons Systems demonstrations had been released by Boeing and the laser had taken part in ultra-cool Exercise Black Dart in August which focuses on innovative tech to tackle hostile drones. The CLWS tends to focus on the trail of the target drone for around 10 to 15 seconds, setting it on fire and destroys it.

In the video , Isaac Neal, Boeing engineer describes it as ` a welding torch being put on target from several hundreds of meters away and if one were on the receiving end of laser energy, they would have no idea from where it was coming or what could be happening’.

The CLWS is said to be a two kilowatt laser which centres a directed energy beam on a target and is so accurate that it can target a specific location on a drone where the laser beam tends to be silent as well as invisible.

Identifying & Tracking Air and Ground Targets

The system has the capabilities of identifying and tracking air and ground targets as they move around by utilising a mid-wave infrared sensor, having a range of around 40 kilometres.

In the video it indicates that the laser takes about 15 seconds to destroy a drone. The laser is said to be controlled with an Xbox 360-like controller which is connected to a laptop equipped with the targeting software and takes only two war-fighters to move the laser across the battle space to deliver focused firepower. The laser can be moved in a few boxes and set up in few minutes.

Another two main advantages of laser weapons is that they have unlimited magazines provided, power and cost for each shot seems to be a quite lower. Boeing has been having many laser systems in progress from lasers like the CLWS which tends to specifically focus on drones through lasers which aim other threats like small fast attack boats, mortar and rockets.

Protecting & Defending Sensitive Areas in U.S.

The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator – HEL MD, Boeing’s laser mounted on a truck which can destroy mortars when they are mid-flight. This laser had been demonstrated by Boeing last year. The CLWS is much smaller and portable.

The Laser system is expected to be ready for sale in the next year or two according to Boeing. Beside the CLWS being utilised in defeating drone threats in war zones, it would also be protecting and defending sensitive areas in the U.S.

Areas such as the airports and government buildings tend to be targeted by drones. For instance, a man had been arrested for flying a drone at the White House, this year in May and the security experts are worried that a drone could probably carry threats like biological or chemical weapons. The CLWS could also be useful in protecting sensitive areas from the prying and spying views of drones.

Based on the speed and distance of the target, Boeing‘s weapon can fire its laser within an inch or more of what it intends to hit. Since the laser tends to move at the speed of light, it is easier to be accurate and there is no need to lead the target and the speed of the gimbal is the main limitation on targeting façade.

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