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Japan to Test Vehicle-Mounted Laser System Capable of Taking Out Drones

Japan will reportedly test a vehicle-mounted laser system this year to assess its ability to destroy unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The ministry of defense has budgeted 2.8 billion yen ($20 million) in research spending for the counter-drone technology this fiscal year. The government expects the technology to be established by 2024.

Moreover, the ministry has set aside 500 million yen ($4.8 million) for research on microwaves to be used in a counter-drone system.

Countering Terrorist Threats

The aim of developing the system is to increase the mobility of counter-drone technology, particularly during a terrorist strike such as that which took place at Saudi Arabian oil facilities in 2019.

The ministry began research on the use of high energy lasers as a tool to combat drones in 2018.

This year, a demonstration test of the system fitted onto a vehicle is planned.

The ministry is already working with a Tokyo-based aerospace company, Kawasaki Heavy, to make a laser-based anti-drone system by 2023, Nikkei reported in November last year.

In its latest phase, the power of the system is being increased and size reduced to be fitted onto a vehicle.

Apart from its use on land-based vehicles, the laser-based technology is also being considered for deployment on ships.

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