Laser technologies developed by China
China’s state-controlled news agency Xinhua claims that the superpower has developed a laser cannon for shooting down small, low-flying drones. The cannon’s designers at the China Academy of Engineering Physics, a government defense agency, believe that in just five seconds it can spot and shoot down a drone flying up to 112 mph anywhere below 1,600 feet within a 1.2 mile radius. Its design requires that it be mounted on a vehicle or placed on the ground.
According to Xinhua, the laser’s design makes it ideal for destroying the small unmanned drones now widely available on the consumer market. Terrorists and spies tend to favor these drones because they’re affordable, quiet and easy to launch. Xinhua says that a recent test demonstrated the laser’s high accuracy when it shot down each of more than 30 drones. The Chinese government hopes that police or military personnel will no longer be necessarily required to shoot down threatening drones with the system in place.
The defense agency also reported that a larger, more powerful version of the laser cannon is in development, which will better prepare the Chinese military for future combat. For now the system will be used mainly as a security measure during major events in populated areas.