Drones are one of the 21st century’s most dangerous weapons, and the U.S. Air Force soon may have a new weapon to defend against them.
Force earlier this month successfully tested Boeing’s Compact Laser Weapon
System (CLWS), which was mounted on top of a small military vehicle and was
able to protect a convoy from simulated drone attacks.
future scenario, an integrated and networked direct energy capability — as
demonstrated in this exercise by CLWS — would provide operators with vital
information and a means to respond to threats at greater speeds,” Ron Dauk,
program manager of Boeing’s Laser and Electro-Optical Systems, said in a
itself was carried out at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. But the CLWS system,
Boeing said, transmitted live video and data to operators at Andrews Air Force
Base in Maryland. Officials said the system’s ability to connect personnel
thousands of miles apart and provide them with real-time information on threats
will be a crucial capability for the military going forward.
the U.S. remains the global leader in armed drone technology, other nations are
rapidly gaining ground. The proliferation of the unmanned aircraft has spurred
the Pentagon to devote time and money to cutting-edge anti-drone programs that
can defend U.S. personnel from enemy attacks.