It sounds like science fiction: the Bundeswehr successfully shot down a drone with a laser. The tested weapon system should potentially also be able to contribute to missile defense in the future.

For the first time, the Bundeswehr shot down a drone in flight with a laser from a warship. The weapon was installed on the frigate “Saxony” for test purposes. The test was carried out at the end of August in front of the Putlos military training area in the district of Ostholstein in Schleswig-Holstein, as the armaments companies involved, Rheinmetall and MBDA, announced in press releases.

Both companies rated the exercise as a success. It would have been successfully fought drones in the close and close range, it said in the two verbatim messages. In the future, a high-energy laser weapon system should be particularly suitable for defending against drones, drone swarms or attacking speedboats. But not only: “It can also be equipped more powerfully and used to destroy guided missiles or mortar shells,” it said.

Other countries are also researching laser weapons

Tests of the high-energy laser weapon are scheduled to continue until March 2023. The weapon system is not only relevant for the Navy, but for all branches of defense, project managers of the companies are quoted as saying.

Other countries are also researching corresponding systems. In April, for example, Israel and the USA published videos and photos of successful tests of their “Iron Beat” (here in the video) and “Trailblazer” (here for the release) systems. How it works can be seen clearly in the Israeli video: The system does not fire a short shot or impulse, but follows the target object for a few seconds until it is fired. The assumption is that the German system works in a similar way.

China, on the other hand, is apparently working on a high-power laser that is officially supposed to vaporize space debris – but according to Western fears it could also be used as a weapon (more on the subject here)

Source: MDBA/Rheinmetall

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