This Is The World’s Most Powerful Mobile Laser – And It Can Zap A 10-Cent Coin Half A Mile Away

Australia has successfully tested its first laser weapon, the Fractl Portable High Energy Laser, marking a significant advancement in military technology. Claimed to be the world’s most powerful portable high-energy laser, this groundbreaking system demonstrated its capabilities at the Puckapunyal range, an army training facility, in May.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) reports that this directed-energy weapon can track objects as small as a 10-cent coin moving at speeds up to 62 mph (100 km/h) from a distance and has enough power to burn through steel. The Fractl laser, designed by Melbourne-based AIM Defence, is a crucial part of the ADF’s strategy to enhance its counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAS) arsenal.

AIM Defence boasts that the Fractl laser, despite its suitcase size, utilizes the world’s most advanced tracking and optics system. This technology enables the laser to hit a drone moving at 62 mph from 0.62 miles (1 kilometer) away with pinpoint accuracy. The laser beam, as narrow as a dime, can target critical drone components such as the rotor, wiring, and camera, facilitating the retrieval of the drone for forensic analysis.

Corporal Patrick Flanagan of the ADF highlighted the laser’s user-friendly interface, likening its operation to a video game. Operators can quickly switch aim between the drone’s camera, center mass, or propellers, disabling the camera in seconds and incapacitating the rotor within two to three seconds.

Designed for seamless integration into existing military frameworks, the Fractl laser reduces operator load and enhances response times. It is highly deployable, with both battery and AC power options, and weighs under 110 pounds (50 kilograms), making it extremely portable.

The Fractl laser is noted for its cost-effectiveness and compact size, being one-tenth the size and cost of other laser systems. During the demonstration, the laser successfully destroyed a drone at 500 meters and has previously engaged targets at 0.62 miles. The system’s potential for longer ranges was also highlighted, indicating a future capability of reaching 0.93 miles for counter-sensor operations.

ADF officials emphasized the advantage of laser weapons’ virtually unlimited ammunition, contingent on power supply, and their effectiveness compared to traditional methods that consume substantial ammunition. The Fractl laser represents a significant step forward in drone defense technology, offering a powerful, precise, and cost-effective solution.

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