US firm Raytheon just unveiled its anti-aircraft laser at the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire, where the Laser Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) can be used on its own or alongside a gunnery system depending on the situation. A series of tests were run earlier this year, where the laser managed to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with accuracy thanks to its solid state fibre laser that delivers a 50 kilowatt beam, making it effective against UAVs, mortars, rockets and small surface ships. This could very well be the beginning of a new era where anti-air measures are concerned, although it remains to be seen whether a properly armored aircraft flying at the speed of sound will be able to evade the laser. We can expect such technology to be miniaturized and increase in effectiveness as time passes by. Tipped to be the last line of defense, it basically offers an unlimited magazine, keeping trigger happy soldiers smiling from ear to ear as they prepare to defend the country in the event of an enemy invasion.
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