July 21, 2010
US Navy Shoots Down Drone Using Laser
The US Navy successfully shot down four unmanned aerial vehicles by using the Laser Weapon System off the coast of California on Tuesday.
The test was announced during the Farnborough International Air Show, which is taking place this week in England.
The technology used industrial strength lasers and is jointly developed with Raytheon.
Scientific American reported that the shoot-down of the drones over water constitutes an advance over previous Raytheon tests, which focused on static targets.
Mike Booen of Raytheon told USA Today, "The targets came in over the ocean, and it was a good day for lasers, bad day for drones."
The technology is likely going to take several more years before being ready to be used in combat situations.
The breakthrough coincidentally made successful tests on the anniversary of the day that U.S. astronauts walked on the moon in 1969.
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