Behold the Laser Avenger, a cannon that could be used to take down incoming aircraft. Boeing was able to shoot a drone out of the sky with the hummer-mounted laser, even though it’s not particularly high-powered. It cooked the remote-controlled aircraft using a somewhat feeble 1-kilowatt beam.
More recently, the company shot down another UAV using a low-power laser paired with its Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated eXperiments, or Matrix, system during a test in White Sands, New Mexico.
Northrop Grumman is hard at work on a 100-kilowatt laser weapon, which could do far more damage, but it’s not quite ready for prime time. It’s fully operational, but looks like a refrigerator.
Boeing announced in late December that the Avenger has been used to destroy 50 different improvised explosive devices, during tests at Redstone Aresenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
Photo courtesy Boeing