US army develops laser weapons against drones, artillery

Oh, the ways armed forces around the world are working to blast uncrewed aerial vehicles they don’t like. Now the US Army is at that again, putting the finishing touches on a laser weapon that can not only destroy the innards of drones as they fly, but also drop incoming artillery as well.

New laser weapon heats drones until they’re just not right

The US Army is touting the chops of its Directed Energy Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) system, which it tested at Fort Bliss, Texas, over the summer. The platform uses a 50-kilowatt laser honed on an enemy target to heat the hostile object in ways that render them useless. In the case of drones, the laser weapon ups the temperature of the craft so dramatically that it ruins aerodynamic efficiency, blind onboard sensors, over-taxes engines, or cause batteries, gas reserves, or explosive payloads to detonate.

The Army says it will be mounting the first four field versions of the DE M-SHORAD system…