Boeing Laser Beams Can Take Down Airplanes

In September, we reported that Boeing successfully defeated a ground target using its Advanced Tactical Laser aircraft. Now the company has shown its laser prowess again by tracking and destroying small, unmanned aerial vehicles in the air. A single laser beam, fired by the U.S. Air Force-sponsored Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated eXperiments (MATRIX), shot down five UAVs at various ranges.

"The Air Force and Boeing achieved a directed-energy breakthrough with these tests," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit. "MATRIX's performance is especially noteworthy because it demonstrated unprecedented, ultra-precise and lethal acquisition, pointing and tracking at long ranges using relatively low laser power."

In addition to the MATRIX's successful mission, Boeing's privately funded program, Laser Avenger, shot down a UAV as well. Laser Avenger integrates a directed-energy weapon with existing kinetic weapons on an Avenger air defense system. MATRIX, on the other hand, is a mobile, trailer-mounted test bed that integrates with existing test-range radar, according to Boeing.

Boeing is currently developing laser weapon systems for a variety of U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy applications.

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  • Anonymous
    soon we will have sharks with frickin lasers on them.
  • astrodudepsu
    And this is unclassified. Think about that.
  • t33lo
    I wonder if these lasers go like "pew, pew!"
  • Other Comments
  • dwightwhiteman
    Phasers on stun, Scottie
  • climber
    Well, for all those 'neon green' folks out there, there won't be any 'windmill powered' laser systems any time soon...
  • lashton
    Oh no we are all fucked the only country to drop atomic bomb now has an airbourne laser, god help the rest of the world, you say iran is insane, maybe not!