Boeing's weapons division has been building and refining death rays--the manufacturer prefers the more modest "directed energy" -- for a few years now. Their latest innovation is firing a relatively portable ray gun at what seems like its natural prey: UAVs, or military drones.
Hackread's write-up of the newest sci-fi wrinkle in the drone wars outlines the innocuous-looking Compact Laser Weapons System's lightweight specs. The "transportable laser cannon," Hackread reports, weighs a mere 650 lbs, can be put together in less than 30 minutes, "and produces an energy beam of 10kw, which can bring down a target 22 miles away."
Hackread goes on to say that since the gun "is precise, silent, portable and above all.. invisible," it is a real "game-changer."
Boeing's brief post about the system--which they've dubbed LWS -- says a recent test at Point Mugu in California was a "milestone" because the LWS was able to target and disable a "a moving, untethered unmanned aerial vehicle."
So here's where we are in the coming Drone Apocalypse: the average guy faced with, say, a pistol-bearing quadcopter or Taser-bearing police drone might potentially be able to fend off the attack with shotgun shells designed to target drones. And if a UAV pilot goes off-reservation at the helm of a military drone, his brains scrambled by too much Virtual Reality Racing in off-hours, Boeing is making ready with its "water-cooled" and battery-powered laser beam.
The future is full of terrifying flying things and beams of focused fire, and an awful lot of fun.
Photos by Screen capture from video