Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Laser downed 5 UAVs in May

Laser downed 5 UAVs in May: "A laser system built for the Air Force shot down five unmanned aircraft during a test in May at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, Calif.The Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated eXperiments — or MATRIX — fired a 2½ kilowatt-class high energy laser that knocked down the aircraft, according to an Air Force Research Laboratory statement.MATRIX ‘acquired, tracked’ and destroyed the targets at ‘significant ranges,’ the statement said. Scientists and engineers will design the laser system to protect the U.S. from enemy unmanned aircraft.It was unclear how the laser brought down the aircraft or how big they were.Boeing Directed Energy Systems built the MATRIX.

The defense contractor has also developed the Airborne Laser — a Boeing 747 with a laser mounted on the nose designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.Boeing also tested its Laser Avenger system at China Lake. The Humvee-mounted directed energy air defense system shot down another unmanned aircraft.The Air Force Research Lab sponsored the test, which also was attended by Army and Navy officials.‘These tests validate the use of directed energy to negate potential hostile threats against the homeland,’ Bill Baker, chief scientist of the Lab’s Directed Energy Directorate, said in a statement."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

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