“Drone-fighting laser cannons?” It seems that China is ready to zap drones out of the sky. Star Wars has arrived! -LW
BEIJING, Nov. 3 (UPI) — China announced the successful development of a laser-firing cannon to shoot down drones with a 1.2 mile radius.The state-run news agency Xinhua reported Monday the “homemade laser defense system” can target low-altitude airborne targets and shoot them down within five seconds of notice of the target. The cannon is meant to be placed on the ground or mounted on a vehicle, and strike drones flying up to 112 mph and below 1,600 feet.
It is designed to destroy miniature drones which are available to terrorists and other consumers, Xinhua said, adding the system could replace police or military personnel in shooting down drones, and that a test cannon shot down over 30 drones without missing any.
In unveiling the project, the Chinese military did not offer photographs of the cannons.
The report quoted Yi Jinsong of the China Hi-Tech Equipment Co., the lead company on the project, saying, “”Intercepting such drones is usually the work of snipers and helicopters, but their success rate is not as high and mistakes with accuracy can result in unwanted damage.”
The United States relies on unmanned drones firing rockets at targets in Yemen, Pakistan and against the Islamic State, and is working on similar laser projects to China’s.