The US Navy Has a New Humvee Mounted Anti-Drone Laser
There's something to be said about turning up to battle with the right weapon in hand. When engaging enemy UAVs from the ground, that ideal weapon for US armed forces isn't a hail of machine gun fire, or a missile, but rather a high-energy laser. The Office of Naval Research has been testing such a weapon and it could arrive sooner than you might think. Known as the 'Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move' concept, or GBAD for short, the system features a high-energy 30kW solid-state laser mounted atop a Humvee, which is capable of downing both small and large aerial drones. Take a look at the demonstration below, with a test fire preview occurring at the 2:21 minute mark. RELATED: Check out this vintage Willys M38 military Jeep
As it's currently presented, the GBAD system is outfitted to a trio of Humvees due to the packaging issues of fitting a complex laser system to mobile vehicles. The primary vehicle totes the 30kW laser, along with power management and storage systems. The second vehicle features a 360-degree search radar for detection and tracking, and the final vehicle operates as the system's command center.
The US military has long been testing the effectiveness of its stationary and mobile laser systems, most recently by punching holes through the engine block of a pickup truck and by neutralizing small nautical targets, but the GBAD marks a significant step forward toward the battle readiness of the anti-drone systems.
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According to the video, anti-drone testing will continue in pursuit of three landmark objectives, the first coming with complete stationary engagement of the GBAD laser at 10kW, and the second with engagement at 30kW after coming to a halt. By 2017, the US Navy hopes to engage multiple drone targets with GBAD's full 30kW potential.
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