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U.S. Army’s New Cost-Saving Laser Can Shoot Down Drones

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The U.S. Army has developed a more efficient and cost-effective way to take down drones, and it involves a weapon that hasn’t yet been used in combat.

For the first time, soldiers successfully shot down drones and incoming mortar shells with a vehicle-mounted laser last week, according to the AFP. However, the new-age gun won’t likely be battle-ready until at least 2017, according to Terry Bauer, program manager for the weapon at the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command.

Designed by Boeing and called the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, the army’s latest innovation was built out of necessity, according to a statement. Bases located in dangerous parts of Iraq and Afghanistan are often assaulted by rockets, mortars and other airborne weapons. The laser is designed as a beam — currently no bigger than a quarter — that shoots from its turret and strikes incoming drones and explosives. Once the laser hits its target, it begins to dissolve the device. Read more…

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