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Japan Unveils Anti-Drone Laser Weapon Prototypes

Two Japanese defense firms have unveiled prototypes of their high-energy laser weapons to shoot down sophisticated enemy drones.

The prototypes were displayed during the recently concluded Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) expo in Tokyo.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) showcased its 10-kilowatt fiber laser that can reportedly hit unmanned platforms up to 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) away.

The counter-drone system can be mounted on ground vehicles and can be used by the country’s ground self-defense force, naval, and air units.

“Any self-defense force can use it from the ground as long as it is intended to shoot down flying objects,” an MHI official said, as quoted by The Diplomat.

Another company official stated that sufficient research has not yet been conducted into whether it can intercept incoming missiles.

However, missile interception may be possible if the laser’s energy output is increased.

More Powerful Laser Weapon

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) showcased a more powerful 100-kilowatt counter-drone system.

The weapon is designed to be mounted on large trailers since it would require a large power supply and cooling water circulation systems to operate.

According to the company, the system can detect enemy drones using an infrared camera, track and lock onto them, and then fire a one-micrometer band fiber laser.

KHI delivered a prototype of the weapon to the country’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency last month for evaluation.

Testing is expected to begin in April.

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