A German company has successfully used a high-powered laser weapon to track and shoot down a fast-moving drone. Rheinmetall Defense completed the successful test in Switzerland, using a 50 kilowatt (kW) laser to shoot down an unmanned aerial vehicle travelling at around 160 kilometers per hour. The test combined 30kW and 20kW lasers mounted on revolving turrets to destroy the drones at a range of two kilometers (km).
The system locked onto the drone using radar before switching to an optical system to track and engage the targets, destroying the drones in a matter of seconds.
The laser was also used to cut through a 15mm thick steel girder at a distance of 1km and track and destroy an 82mm ballistic target of a similar size to a mortar round.