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Raytheon Shoots Down Multiple Drones With Directed Laser Weapon

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Raytheon Company has successfully shot down multiple drones using its advanced high powered microwave (HPM) and mobile high energy laser (HEL) weapon systems, stated the company press release Tuesday.

Raytheon Shoots Down Multiple Drones With Directed Laser Weapon

The directed-energy weapon system was paired with Raytheon’s Multi-spectral Targeting System, using sensors that directed microwaves and lasers to blast enemy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) out of the sky during a field training exercise. Mounted on a Polaris MRZR 4 all-terrain vehicle, the system was extremely portable and could traverse almost any terrain.

“Countering the drone threat requires diverse solutions,” said Stefan Baur, Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems vice president. “HEL and HPM give frontline operators options for protecting critical infrastructure, convoys and personnel.”

Raytheon Shoots Down Multiple Drones With Directed Laser Weapon

During the exercise, Raytheon’s targeting system directed HPM’s microwave energy at incoming enemy UAVs to disorient its guidance system. The system then fired the HEL which effectively blasted the drones out the sky. With a diesel power supply, the tracking system, HPM, and HEL can operate for several hours.

“After decades of research and investment, we believe these advanced directed energy applications will soon be ready for the battlefield to help protect people, assets and infrastructure,” said Dr. Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president.

Raytheon’s HEL and HPM were tested at an undisclosed location. The exercise expanded on previously directed energy weapon demonstrations such as the Army’s directed energy exercise in 2017.

Military officials have warned about the proliferation of small to medium-sized armed drones are accelerating at an alarming rate. Small drones offer new levels of stealth and utility for military and terror organization on the modern battlefield. These drones can be purchased on the internet, are relatively inexpensive to build, and the operator can learn to fly it in minutes.

Take, for example, a small drone packed with explosives flown by Yemen’s Houthi rebels hit a military parade at the Al Anad Air Base outside Aden, a port city in eastern Yemen, early this year, wounding a dozen troops from a Saudi-led coalition. The small drone was able to penetrate the base’s missile defense system and exploded over military leaders and troops. The use of small drones on the modern battlefield has revolutionized warfare in the 21st century, made conventional forces vulnerable.

Last week, the Air Force said it was nearing operational use of its Tactical High-power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR), a high-powered microwave energy weapon that can shield a base from drone swarm attacks.

Inexpensive drone technology has given terror organizations around the world new operational capabilities that can conduct surveillance and carry munitions for a direct-attack role. A trend that has forced the Pentagon to spend hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, on new technology to combat this ever so expanding threat.

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occupybacon

Exactly like in the games, kids!

goingbrokes

Laser against swarming drones – really? Sounds like bs to me. This is developed for some other purpose.

chris chuba

Okay but what would you use against swarming drones, 1. localized jamming, 2. localized emp weapon (non-nuclear), 3. fragmentation weapon?

Ground based laser is an improvement over sending a radar guided missile in terms of expense.

goingbrokes

Look I haven’t problem solved the drone swarm situation, how to defend against it. It just seems that a laser is not the one for the job, despite what sci-fi serials may lead us to believe. Firstly how do you power it in a battlefield situation? Capacitor banks will exhaust in no time so a power supply is needed – I’m not sure that mobile laser guns with leads running to an external supply would work. Fixed position laser guns can be taken out too easily for that to be feasible.
Secondly, how hard is it to stop a laser from being effective? Dust, smoke, fog, clouds, probably rain too will degrade the integrity of the beam. The drones could have cheap mirrors, creating just enough deflections to reach the target. And god forbid someone inventing a device that homes in on a laser beam and its source! A HALM!
It seems to me that a laser is a single-burst long-distance weapon. Probably best for cooking an engine, or exploding a munitions truck, or assassinating a general. Maybe taking out a sniper! And most certainly it would be excellent in setting forest fires and the like in front of an advancing enemy. (There is a wide suspicion that California fires were laser driven.) But a swarm of drones? I don’t see it.
What to do with a drone swarm? Someone needs to develop an anti-drone homing device, a kind of agile hunter drone that can take out multiple targets. Or a specialist drone jammer to interfere with comms. I dunno, it’s fun to speculate though. So thanks for the question.

Sinbad2

You could just jam their radio control mechanism like Russia does with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Dušan Mirić

As a military analyst wrote, the USA is making weapon for profit, Russians are making weapon to kill

Rodger

Because reflecting foil is really expensive and heavy….

Toronto Tonto

Do you think RT will run this story ??? they did not run the Falcon Heavy story .

ruca

My guess is that you don’t even read the articles here or at rt. You scan the headline and then activate your shit streamer. Go suckle at CNN, fox and BBC.

Toronto Tonto

My RT shit streamer works just fine thanks .

Pave Way IV

Raytheon stold this technology from Ukraine – they’ve had it for years. Here’s a leaked video of some high-energy physicists doing classified research on their 800 watt HPM. Note their advanced multi-spectral targeting system.

“Hey magnetron… what have you done?”

https://youtu.be/FIU8WZR9DNA?t=111

Sinbad2

A George Lucas production.

Concrete Mike

To USA planners.

You gave the terrorists the drone technology! And now we have to pay to develop countermeasures LOL

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