Japan Wants To Develop Drone-Hunting Lasers
Drone technology has come long way in the last decade, but not everyone is a fan.
Japan’s Ministry of Defence has said it’s planning to develop drone-hunting lasers, capable of disabling and even shooting down potentially-threatening UAVs.
The ministry is becoming increasingly worried about drones being used by terrorists to target civilian populations, and believes that vehicle-mounted lasers are the solution to enable authorities to respond to possible attacks.
As per Nikkei Asia, the technology could reportedly come into play in Japan as early as 2025, with the Ministry of Defence already working with Japanese conglomerate Kawasaki Heavy to establish the initial laser technology by 2023. The Ministry has asked for 4.4 billion yen – around $42 million – to be allocated for counter-drone development in the country’s 2021 budget.
A number of private companies will be selected to work with the ministry on strengthening the power of the lasers and producing them at a smaller scale so they can be mounted on vehicles, with the idea being that police and the military can quickly intervene if a drone attack takes place in an urban area.
While drones are playing an increasingly important role in conflict zones all over the world, several security experts have warned that cheap, easily accessible drones could also be weaponised by terrorists in cities. High-powered lasers are currently regarded as one of the most effective weapons against drones, with heat from the lasers able to knock them offline and out of the sky.
Other countries, including the United States and China, are already working on similar technology, although anti-drone lasers are not yet believed to have been deployed anywhere for operational use. Nikkei Asia also reports that Japan is considering whether microwave-based devices could be deployed to disable drones at sea.
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