Defense system on NATO ships compatible with new anti-aircraft laser


From the BBC:  US firm Raytheon has unveiled its anti-aircraft laser at the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire.

In May, the firm knocked out a number of UAVs at the US Navy test range on San Nicolas Island off the coast of California. …

Raytheon Missile Systems’ vice president, Mike Booen, said that the tests, performed in a maritime environment, were a big step forward for laser technology.

"We’ve tied this into Phalanx, the US Navy’s anti-missile defence system that links a multiple barrelled 20mm Gatling gun to a radar guidance mechanism.

"This system is already installed in many ships, both in the US and other Nato nations, such as the Royal Navy. …"

"This is the first time a UAV threat has been targeted and neutralised in a marine environment," said Mr Booen. …

Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly, told BBC News that CIWS was the start of real world applications for military solid state lasers. …

"There are numerous real world applications for a laser than can knock out airborne threats, especially mortars and rockets.

"Airbases in Afghanistan, the Green Zone in Baghdad or the border with Gaza and Israel could all potentially use something like this."  (graphic: Raytheon)  (video of UAV shot down by anti-aircraft energy laser)

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