In a grainy, black-and-white video that looks like a home movie of a UFO attack a sleek aircraft streaks through the sky one minute, only to burst into flames the next and plummet into the sea. The silent video, which Raytheon Co. debuts Monday at the U.K.'s Farnborough International Air Show 2010, however, is not science fiction. The defense contractor says it depicts part of a test conducted in May during which the U.S. Navy used a solid-state laser to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles over the Pacific Ocean.
During the test, the Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS), guided by Raytheon's Phalanx Close-In Weapon System sensors, engaged and destroyed four UAV targets flying over water near the Navy's weapons and training facility on San Nicolas Island in California's Santa Barbara Channel, about 120 kilometers west of Los Angeles. The Phalanx—a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun system—used electro-optical tracking and radio frequency sensors to provide range data to the LaWS, which is made up of six solid-state lasers with an output of 32 kilowatts that simultaneously focus on a target.
Tags: navy, army, marine, air force, military, weapon, laser, lazer, war, battle, gun, advanced, u.s., united states, america
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