Thursday, November 19, 2009

Laser against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

According to Boeing Company, a directed energy weapon system is under development by U.S. Air Force and Boeing recently. The system is called the Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated eXperiments (MATRIX), which was developed by Boeing under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Around mid of 2009, this mobile and trailer-mounted laser system successfully demonstrated its ability to track and destroy 5 small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at various ranges with a single, high-brightness laser beam guided by existing test-range radar.

Besides the cooperative test of MATRIX that day, one Boeing-funded initiative, a hybrid weapon, wihich combined directed and kinetic energies together, called Laser Avenger, also shot down a UAV. The Laser Avenger integrated a lightweight 25mm machine gun into a laser weapon platform. These tests stepped U.S laser application in combat systems to a new level.