Israeli defense contractor Elbit released a video of its high-power airborne laser shooting down simulated enemy drones.
The High-Power Laser Weapon System was installed on a Cessna aircraft equipped with advanced sensors and tracking systems and used to engage multiple drones at various ranges and altitudes.
During testing, the aircraft “successfully intercepted and destroyed 100% of the UAVs launched during the test,” the defense ministry said.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense tweeted that Israel is “among the first countries in the world to demonstrate such capabilities.” The armed forces released a video of the testing.
The video, from the Israeli firm Elbit Systems, shows a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan passenger aircraft. The laser is built into what is normally the cargo door on the left side of the plane, with its unwinking aperture looking like a large harmless tube.
According to Elbit and Israel’s Ministry of Defense, the laser was pitted against three unarmed drones. In the video, the aircraft uses intense laser light to heat all of the drones’ surfaces to the point of mechanical failure. Two of the drones appear to pitch over and fall into the Mediterranean Sea, while a third break apart into several pieces mid-flight.
“This is the first phase in a multi-year program to develop an advanced airborne laser system that will add another layer to Israel’s multi-tier defense array, complementing the capabilities of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow systems,” the Israeli defense ministry said.