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U.S. Army Tests High-Energy Laser That Can Destroy Drones

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The U.S. Army has been testing a high-energy laser weapon that can destroy drones.

Researchers are testing Stryker infantry transport vehicles mounted with a 5kW laser weapon so that one day, the weapon can destroy drones on the front lines, the Daily Mail reported.

The laser weapon brought down 50 drones during a ten-day firing exercise.

The Army is testing the Mobile High Energy Laser (MEHEL), in addition to exploring other laser systems, just to deal with the growth of unmanned aerial drones that are being used in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army tested MEHEL 2.0, one of three laser weapons currently being evaluated, at the 2017 Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, which ran from April 3 to April 13.

The laser can shoot up to five kilowatts of power, an increase from the two kilowatts of power it was able to shoot last year.

The Army hopes the laser will be able to shoot an 18-kilowatt beam by 2018.

The laser includes on-board radar tacking and a camera that soldiers can use to track enemy drones and aircraft.

This is the first time infantry soldiers are in charge of testing the system.

“They love the system and they are excited about not only what they can do with it in the air, but what they can do with it on the ground as well,” Lt. Col. Jeff Erts, who is in charge of the experiments, said.

The Army is also working with Lockheed Martin to test a 60kW laser weapon.

Other branches of the military also plan to utilize laser weapons.

The U.S. Navy is planning on deploying laser weapons on its ships within the next two years.


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