The United States Army has concluded trials of novel short-range laser-based anti-aircraft defense systems, conducted in the state of Arizona.
The United States Army has conducted trials of new short-range laser-based air defense systems designed for the destruction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as reported by Sarbaz.kz, referencing the weekly publication Defence News.
According to the newspaper, testing of 50-megawatt laser installations took place at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The trials demonstrated the high efficacy of these systems in countering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, challenges persist in the destruction of missiles, artillery shells, and mortar projectiles.
US officials state that the testing of these technologies will continue, and by the end of 2023, the Armed Forces will embark on formulating tactics for the utilization of this type of weaponry.
Simultaneously, military experts are exploring the potential of directed energy and systems with power ranging from 10 to 300 kilowatts, collecting data on their lethality. Specialists highlight that despite the significant development costs, a single laser shot proves more cost-effective than employing traditional ordnance.
The US Army has already received two prototypes of the DE M-SHORAD laser systems, with an additional two systems scheduled for delivery in the coming months. An attempt to integrate lasers into the M-SHORAD air defense systems was initiated in 2019. The forces were anticipated to acquire these installations by the autumn of the previous year; however, development timelines extended.
The military publication underscores that concomitantly, research is progressing on lightweight 20-kilowatt laser weaponry intended for the US infantry. Prototyping is slated for the years 2023-2024.