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Taiwan Developing Vehicle-Mounted 50kW Laser Weapon

Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) is developing a 50-kilowatt laser weapon to neutralize enemy missiles and drones.

The laser can be mounted on CM-32 Clouded Leopard armored vehicles for added mobility and range.

According to an unnamed defense official, the weapon will have enough raw power output to support various combat applications.

Last year, the NCSIST reportedly produced a low-power prototype of the vehicle-mounted laser weapon.

A fully-powered prototype is expected to be rolled out by the end of this year for trials and demonstration.

The official said the NCSIST hopes the Taiwanese military will immediately adopt the system, considering the heightened tensions with China.

Global Support

Taipei is not acting alone in developing the 50-kilowatt directed-energy weapon against emerging threats, a senior defense official told Taipei Times.

The NCSIST has reportedly made significant advancements over a relatively short period because of technological assistance from “international friends.”

The official did not mention specific countries, but he could be referring to the US, which has made significant breakthroughs in laser development.

Once completed, the laser weapon would demonstrate Taiwan’s ability to produce sophisticated systems and foster international partnerships in defense innovation.

Potential Applications

Before the development of the 50-kilowatt laser, the NCSIST had conducted research on the battlefield potential of directed-energy weapons operating alongside air defense vehicles.

It also studied how the weapon could supplement conventional systems, which are more expensive to fire and could be easily overwhelmed by enemy drone swarms.

After exploring the combat applications of the laser weapon, the institute found that the system could be effective against China’s Chengdu GJ-1 series of drones, as well as rockets and missiles.

A defense analyst also claimed that laser weapons could counter Chinese balloons.

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