Laser to shoot war drones out of sky

Posted at 9:05 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 22:05:46-04

The future of the military's defense against drones is being developed right here in Oklahoma.

Officials in Fort Sill are working to to find out whether drones can be knocked out of the battlefield sky with lasers.

Two years of research has gone into this experiment, and today, technicians found out if all their hard work could redefine the military's approach to war.

"The purpose is to develop, evaluate and assess existing and emerging technologies to help direct hoe we're going to fight from now to 2025," John Haithcock, Director of Fires Battle Lab, said.

It's an innovative laser developed by Boeing. The purpose is to be able to lock on to moving targets, like drones as they fly across the battlefield.

Officials call it a tactical edge to get leaps and bounds ahead of today's technology, shutting it down in its tracks... literally.

A 10-kilowatt laser is set to lock in on the drone to take it down. Today's experiment did just that, showing damage to two drones that were knocked out of the sky.

"Our idea is to take these technologies that have some maturity and then we would nominate them to go to the army war fighting experiment," Haithcock said.

Today's progress is a sign this technology could be ready for the next step, and maybe some day be used at war.

Drone defense was not the only experiment tested today in Fort Sill.

Open range firing for an electromagnetic rail-gun has also recently begun, which could help the military hit targets in a shorter amount of time at a longer distance.

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