‘Death Star’ laser weapon could protect world leaders from drone attacks at Japanese G7 summit

By Mark Prigg
World leaders attending the G7 summit in Japan could be protected by a radical new laser weapon.
Made by MBDA Germany, it can shoot drones out of the sky.
The firm said a 2013 incident where a mini drone crashed at a distance of only two meters from German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an election event held in Dresden, shows the need for the weapon.

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The four, 10 kilowatt lasers are focused into one beam by a mirror, and can knock a drone out of the sky from 500m away.
HOW IT WORKS
The system, which the German Ministry of Defense is part funding, has an external sensor like a radar spotting the target before a low power laser beam illuminates it for better targeting.
An optical sensor then locks onto the target and guides the laser.
The four, 10 kilowatt lasers are focused into one beam by a mirror.
‘Commercial mini drones represent a new type of threat that is nearly impossible to counter with conventional effectors,’ the firm said.
‘Highly precise and scalable laser weapon systems could protect major events and critical infrastructures and close a current capability gap.
‘The air defense system in that case was her bodyguard, who picked up the UAV,’ Markus Martinstetter of MBDA told Defence News.
In France alone, more than 60 overflights by such craft over strategically significant locations have been reported since October 2014.

The Japanese government is already showing interest in the device, and is scheduled to host the Group of Seven summit next year, and officials want to make it as safe as possible.
That includes keeping drones away from venues where global leaders will be gathering, according to Nikkei
Martinstetter warned ‘You can buy these things on the internet and easily put explosives on them but there is no efficient protection against them.
The system, which the German Ministry of Defense is part funding, envisages an external sensor like a radar spotting the target before a low power laser beam illuminates it for better targeting.
An optical sensor then locks onto the target and guides the laser.
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The new weapon is reminiscent of the one used by the Death Star in the propular star Wars films
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The drone, circled, landed in front of Ms Merkel as she delivered a speech in Germany sparking fears that the device could easily be used to commit a terrorist act.

The four, 10 kilowatt lasers are focused into one beam by a mirror. The sytems’ efficiency is about 30 percent, meaning that 400 to 500 kilowatts of battery power are required to produce the 100 kilowatt laser.
‘We have designed a system with six lasers and 8 to 10 is possible, but 4-6 is the best number for reasons of size,’ Martinstetter told Defence news.
The four laser, 100 kilowatt set-up would be mounted on the same type truck used to ferry the MEADS missile defense system, he said.
The firm plans to have the ability to knock out IEDs using a 5 to 20 kilowatt laser mounted on a vehicle at a range of less than 500 meters , as well as the ability to blind or destroy optics using a 5 kilowatt laser at a range of 2.5 kilometers.
Five years after the signing of a full development contract, the firm would be able to offer a counter piracy laser with a range of less than 1,000 meters using a 10-40 kilowatt laser.
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Experts are
A mid to long range plan is for an antimissile laser firing a 100 kilowatt beam up to 3 milometers .
‘We are now working on a deployable, ruggedized laser demonstrator, but the principal technology is proven,’ said Martinstetter.
Earlier this year it conducted the first tests of its systems.
It deployed a laser effector to acquire, track, and defeat a free-flying mini drone, the first time such technology has been used to this effect.
The mini drone was destroyed within seconds of the start of the test which was carried out at MBDA Deutschland’s testing area in Schrobenhausen.
The drone in question manoeuvred in the target area at a range of about 500m with the test proving the laser effector’s capability to combat realistic targets with precision, speed and safety.

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