|Boeing's portable Compact Laser Weapons System (emitting aperture is seen at left; laser module aimed at ground target, right) can shoot down drones via a 2 kW beam from its fiber laser. (Images: Boeing)
Boeing has developed and tested a portable, battery-operated laser system that can shoot down small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones. The system, simply called the Compact Laser Weapons System, was successfully tested at an exercise at Point Mugu, CA where it tracked and disabled a moving, untethered drone. The system is a "little brother" to Boeing's High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator.
The Compact Laser Weapons System consists of four portable box-sized components containing a 2 kW fiber laser, the battery power supply, a water-cooled chiller, and a beam director. The system can be quickly set up in the field due to its simple interconnects. Boeing notes that the new beam director is 40% lighter than the previous version.
In operation, the laser beam is focused at a single point on the drone, with the tracking system causing the beam to dwell on that one spot. Drones are disabled in about 15 seconds.