The Xinhua News Agency, China's state press agency, has reported that the China Academy of Engineering Physics (Sichuan Province) and other Chinese codevelopers have created and tested a laser-defense system designed to shoot down small unmanned drones such as "quadricopters" and their ilk, as well as small winged drones, flying at low altitude.
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The laser system can shoot down small aircraft within a 2-km radius in five seconds or less after finding its target, said a statement released by the Academy. The laser is designed to destroy small-scale drones flying below an altitude of 500 m and at a speed below 50 m/s.
"Intercepting such drones is usually the work of snipers and helicopters, but their success rate is not as high and mistakes with accuracy can result in unwanted damage," says Yi Jinsong, a manager with China Jiuyuan Hi-Tech Equipment Corp., a group under the Academy.
Yi says that small-scale, unmanned drones are a likely choice for terrorists; in addition, small drones can be used for unlicensed mapping activities and can also interfere with military and civil aerial activities.
The laser can either be installed or transported in vehicles. It will help ensure security during major events in urban areas, said an Academy statement, noting that a recent test saw the machine shoot down more than 30 drones at a 100% success rate.
The China Academy of Engineering Physics also said that it was developing similar laser-security systems with greater power and range.