Navy LaWS smokes several drones

This is pretty cool:

WASHINGTON (NNS) — Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), with support from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren, for the first time successfully tracked, engaged and destroyed a threat representative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) while in flight at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, Calif., June 7.A total of five targets were engaged and destroyed during the testing, also a first for the U.S. Navy. Members of NAVSEA’s Directed Energy and Electric Weapon Systems (DE&EWS) Program Office and NSWC Dahlgren fired a laser through a beam director on a KINETO tracking mount.

Two additional UAVs were engaged and destroyed in flight June 9, with two more UAVs shot down June 11. These recent evolutions continued a series of progressively challenging tests using the prototype version of the Surface Navy Laser Weapon System (LaWS).

— Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communications.  “Navy Laser Success Key in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Research, Development“, June 19th, 2009.

Also a good reminder that present-day UAVs may seem like hot stuff while operating in uncontested airspace versus a 7th century enemy armed with 20th century weapons.  But they need a little help against an OPFOR that can detect and shoot at air targets.

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One Response
  1. UNRR says:

    This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 6/20/2009, at The Unreligious Right