A German arms company has developed a laser capable of knocking drones out of the sky from nearly 2 miles away, using technology that looks a lot like what Darth Vader’s Death Star used against Luke Skywalker and the rebel forces in “Star Wars.”
MBDA Deutschland, based in Schrobenhausen, Bavaria, developed a laser beam that successfully identified, tracked and hit an unmanned aerial vehicle from 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) away. The drone was eliminated within seconds, the company said.
“At the heart of MBDA Deutschland’s technological approach is a multi-stage, highly precise tracking procedure and laser effector that bundles numerous laser sources into a single laser beam using the principle of geometric coupling,” the company said in a statement this week, as quoted by United Press International. “These processes make it possible to combat small, highly agile targets with a single laser effector.”
The laser combines four beams into a single laser, to be exact, which then produces a 40 kilowatt beam. MBDA hopes to destroy mini-UAVs from up to 5 kilometers (3.01 miles) when the laser is operating at full capacity, which could happen within five years.