Russia has deployed a new generation of counter-drone laser weapons in its military operation in Ukraine, according to Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.
Called the Peresvet and the Zadira, Borisov added that prototypes of others are also being deployed, Reuters reported.
Also the head of Russian military development, Borisov said that the Peresvet, unveiled in 2018, could incapacitate a satellite up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) above the Earth.
Destroys Targets Within 5 Km
Borisov said even more powerful laser-based weapons, capable of physically destroying their targets, are being tested and deployed in the war.
He cited a recent test where the Zadira burned a drone more than five kilometers (three miles) away in seconds.
“If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons lead to the physical destruction of the target — thermal destruction, they burn up,” Reuters quoted him as saying on Russian state television.
No Evidence of Use in Ukraine
There is almost zero information available publicly about the system other than it was launched by state nuclear power corporation Rosatom in 2017 “as part of a program to create weapons-based new physical principles.”
Reacting to the claims, a US Department of Defense official was quoted by BBC that, “He had not seen anything to corroborate reports of lasers being used” in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mocked the claims, comparing them to Nazi Germany’s “so-called wonder weapons” that were “unveiled in a bid to prevent defeat in World War Two.”
“The clearer it became that they had no chance in the war, the more propaganda there was about an amazing weapon that would be so powerful as to ensure a turning point,” Reuters quoted him as saying in a late-night video address.
“And so we see that in the third month of a full-scale war, Russia is trying to find its ‘wonder weapon.’ This all clearly shows the complete failure of the mission.”