Laser 1, Drone 0 in Boeing sandbox games

Last month, a small robotic plane flew into the skies over New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range. Tracking the drone was an experimental Humvee, equipped with a laser. The real-life ray gun then took aim at the drone, and began blasting. Soon, the drone had a hole burnt through it — and was crashing down to the desert.

For decades, the Army and the Air Force have used laser prototypes to zap unmanned planes. But what makes this test, held last month, a little different is that the laser was small, and low-powered. Which makes the ray gun, at least in theory, fairly easy to fit into an existing combat vehicle.

The laser-equipped Humvee is a modified version of the Army’s Avenger air defense system. It uses more traditional means — eight missiles — to take out low-flying targets. So why use the ray gun? “Laser Avenger, unlike a conventional weapon, can fire its laser beam without creating missile exhaust or gun flashes that would reveal its position,” Boeing’s Gary Fitzmire contends. “As a result, Laser Avenger can neutralize these UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] threats while keeping our troops safe.”

For now, the company is funding the Avenger out of its own pocket, “to demonstrate that directed energy weapons are maturing and are relevant to today’s battlefield.”

We’re doomed. Doomed! We’re all doooomed!

3 thoughts on “Laser 1, Drone 0 in Boeing sandbox games

  1. Fast forward says:

    “Russia to use new laser weapon during the war in Ukraine”
    “The Peresvet (Russian: Пересвет, named after Alexander Peresvet) is a Russian laser weapon for air defense and as an anti-satellite weapon.”
    “Alexander Peresvet – also spelled Peresviet (Russian: Александр Пересвет, d. 8 September 1380) – was a Russian Orthodox monk who fought in a single combat with the Tatar champion Temir-murza (known in most Russian sources as Chelubey or Chelibey) at the opening of the Battle of Kulikovo (8 September 1380). The two men killed each other.”

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