The World’s Most Powerful Mobile Laser

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Australia’s first laser weapon can knock down drones with unprecedented accuracy and is hailed as the world’s most powerful portable, high-energy laser.

The “Fractl Portable High Energy Laser” created by AIM Defence utilizes the world’s most advanced tracking and optics system, allowing its super-precise laser beam to hit a drone moving at 100 kph from 1 km away with pinpoint accuracy. It can even target specific areas of the drone, like its rotor, wiring, and camera, which enables retrieving the device for forensic analysis and operational insights.

The Australian Defense Force said in a statement that the weapon operator can quickly and easily switch aim between the drone’s video camera, center mass, or one of the propellers, taking mere seconds to disable the camera and incapacitate the rotor. They add that the system is designed for seamless integration into existing frameworks (reducing operator load and enhancing response times), is highly deployable, and offers both battery and AC power options.

The entire unit weighs under 50 kg so it is extremely portable and easy to use in various operational scenarios. AIM even said in a statement that the Fractl is only a tenth of the size and cost of other laser systems currently available on the market, making it one of the most capable and cost-effective solutions for drone defense.

According to Interesting Engineering, a demonstration of the system showcased its capabilities by ‘hard killing’ a drone at 500 meters, where company officials highlighted the significance of the demonstration, indicating it as a step towards achieving ranges similar to their one-micron system that reaches 1.5 km for counter-sensor and 1 km for hard kill engagements.

ADF officials have also emphasized the advantage of the weapons’ unlimited ammunition, as it can always shoot as long as there is power. Furthermore, they add that since drones can take many different forms, armies will need to use a range of tools to neutralize the threat.