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Boeing Unveils Compact Drone-Killing Laser That Can Be Assembled In Minutes

28/08/2015 14:23 BST | Updated 03/09/2015 18:59 BST

Drones, at the best of times, can be a pesky nuisance, flying over areas they are not supposed to be in.

In the last few months, unmanned aerial vehicles have been caught smuggling drugs into prisons, getting in the way of firefighters and colliding into skyscrapers, the Washington Post reports.

So, Boeing have created a stealthy drone-killer -- a small, but powerful laser that can be assembled in a matter of minutes to form a camera-like device that sits on a tripod.

laser beam

Isaac Neal, a Boeing engineer said: "Think of it as a welding torch being put on target but from many 100s of metres away."

Once the laser is turned on, the drone can be disabled in 15 seconds, as demonstrated to media in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

boeing laser

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The laser is formed of four parts, a water chiller, battery power supply, a 2 kilowatt fibre laser and a beam director that is can be transported in small black boxes the size of a standard handheld suitcase.

The laser is an upgrade on another, heavier system known as the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), which Boeing unveiled last year.

According to Wired, the target caught on fire after being exposed for two full seconds to the laser and did not leave a trail of explosions behind.

laser beam

Boeing say their new system will be ideal for tactical missions and should be battlefield ready soon.