Boeing develops laser cannon that blasts drones

Boeing is on the brink of developing a laser cannon strategically designed to blast drones out of the sky.

Although the weapon looks nothing like Star Wars laser beams,  it is capable of completely decimating an unmanned aircraft.

Governments and militaries around the world have grown increasingly concerned over the prospect of contending with drones carrying explosives or chemical weapons into areas they should not occupy. As a result, government agencies have begun pooling their resources to find an efficient way to stop these unmanned aircrafts in their tracks. Some have developed anti-drone shotgun shells, while others have focused on communication jamming technologies.

Boeing, however, thinks zapping drones with laser is the best way to go.

Boeing’s cannon can obliterate a drone in a literal flash, as proven by its demonstration in New Mexico last August. The company showcased the strength of the cannon by burning holes into a stationary composite UAV shell. After two seconds of firing the laser at full power, the target was engulfed in flames.

The laser cannon is also incredibly small and easier to manage than weapons commonly used by the military. An Xbox 360 controller, in addition to a laptop with pre-installed software, is all that is needed to operate the laser.

At present, the prototypes are only meant to be used at rest; however, given Boeing’s current technology, it wouldn’t be too difficult to upgrade the weapon for eventual use on moving ships and vehicles.

“This represents a low-cost way to deal with the threat,” David DeYoung, director of Boeing Laser & Electro-Optical Systems, told Wired Magazine.

Boeing has yet to disclose the price of the laser cannon. The company hopes to have the weapon ready to market in two years.


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