The U.S. Marines are screening a new prototype laser weapon program built to obvious the skies of pesky drones. The Compact Laser Weapon Procedure, or CLaWS for quick, is a vehicle-mounted laser meant to disable or down tiny unmanned aerial autos, preventing them from acting as spotters or even traveling suicide bombs. The laser weapons are currently being mounted on the new Joint Light-weight Tactical Vehicle (above).
The CLaWS weapon program is built to down drones at ranges of hundreds of meters by burning off sections of the body or igniting onboard gas offer or an explosive payload. One Boeing engineer in the movie over describes it as applying a blowtorch to a drone, boasting that it took just 15 seconds for the laser to choose down a traveling focus on.
CLaWS is a fiber laser, lasers that use optical fibers doped in exceptional things as a transmission medium. Fiber lasers are acknowledged for higher beam quality and the capability to stand jarring motion through transport. The latter is specially handy for armed forces company, exactly where electronics need to be in a position to survive transport more than unimproved streets, bumpy cargo flights, and other rough—but quite normal—handling.
Laser electrical power is described in electrical usage, and CLaWS is readily available in 2, 5, and 10 kilowatt versions. It is unidentified which variation the Marines are at the moment testing. In accordance to AFCEA the Marines approved shipping of 2 kilowatt lasers in summer time 2018 but should really have 5 kilowatt lasers in the discipline by now, summer season 2019.
Drones have become an expanding menace in the latest several years. Low-cost and straightforward to management, drones can act as spotters for enemy forces, coordinate an artillery barrage or airstrike, or even carry out their possess assaults. In the mid-2010s, drone assaults in opposition to Ukrainian ammunition depots by suspected Russian drones resulted in several explosions, just one death, and the reduction of at least a billion bucks in ammunition. Around the identical time, ISIS forces done numerous drone attacks in opposition to their opponents, in one situation killing two Kurdish fighters and critically wounding a French soldier.