Machine Design

Boeing Laser Shoots Down UAV

A Boeing laser being tested on an Avenger combat vehicle downed a small UAV, one resembling those that could threaten U.S. troops in combat zones. During the test held at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the laser’s targeting system was able to detect three UAVs flying against a complex background of mountains and desert, according to Boeing. One of the UAVs was then shot from the sky at an “operationally relevant” range, the first time a combat vehicle has used a laser to down an aircraft. In earlier tests, the laser “neutralized” an explosive device and some unexploded ordnance, both on the ground.

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