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US Army – Shooting Down Drones with Lasers Instead of Bullets

The US Army introduced an anti-drone system known as Mobile High-Energy Laser, aka MEHEL, which can be attached onto their Stryker combat vehicle. It can automatically detect and shoot down when drones invade their property. At the drill at 2017 MFIX mobile equipment exhibition which was held this month, a DJI Phantom 4 was burnt and lost the ability to fly after being shot down with the laser.

The MEHEL is just one of the systems that deal with the uncontrolled growth of unmanned aerial vehicles that are always being seen around places like Iraq and Afghanistan. No bullets were fired, no loud booming sounds; just a swift laser from it and down goes the drone.

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The Stryker combat vehicle installed with MEHEL

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The US Army plans to use drones to deliver supplies to battlefields

The system is equipped with 5kW laser gun and a large number of sensors. It only requires a few minutes to scan the sky for intruding drones and it’ll lock on to its prey once detected. Lieutenant colonel, Jeff Erts, serving as a chief of experimentation and wargaming with the Fires Battle Lab at the Fires Center of Excellence, said that the MEHEL is just one of the three drone-destroying systems being evaluated at the 2017 MFIX.

According to the US Army, Erts said that the Army was finding better solutions to aim at targets to fire on. “We’d like to know where our targets are at,” he said. “So the targets are out on the battlefield somewhere. We’d like to know exactly where they are, so we can use one of our precision munitions to hit it. They love the system and they are excited about not only what they can do with it in the air, but what they can do with it on the ground as well.”

Finally, Erts said the Army are also looking for new ways to deliver supplies and carry stuffs to the edge of the battlefield with drones rather than convoys. “Let’s say a Soldier is out of ammunition and they need a resupply in an emergency situation,” Erts said. “They could launch the UAS, and without putting any Soldiers in harm’s way, they could deliver that box of ammunition to the front lines.”

[Source: US Army]

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