Kawasaki Heavy Industries has presented a new high-energy laser system for anti-drone defense is an impressive development in the field of VSHORAD systems. The system was developed in collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Defense and the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA). The laser system was specifically designed for the identification, tracking, and destruction of drones, and has been under development since 2000.
The initial development of the laser system started with the use of chemical lasers and preliminary work on drone identification and targeting. In 2010, the system was upgraded to a 50kW laser, and by 2020 it had switched to solid-state lasers with laser power increasing to 100kW. The R&D project is still underway to create a High Energy Laser-based Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) system, which will be grounded.
The prototype of the anti-drone system was displayed on a Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX vehicle, which is equipped with a 2kW high-energy laser system, a tracking imager, and a gimbal system. The laser system is mounted on the gimbal system to maintain the laser’s focus and balance. Currently, the laser system can engage targets up to 100 meters away, and the tracking imager can track targets up to 300 meters away. This all-terrain vehicle is currently being used by the Japanese airborne forces, and a larger modification using heavy-duty trucks with 24.8-ton wheels will be used to transport the anti-drone system.
The technical specifications of the system are kept secret by the manufacturer, and Aegis destroyers may one day be equipped with this anti-drone system. The system’s development was carried out at the request of Japan’s ATLA, which seeks to incorporate cutting-edge technology into the country’s self-defense forces.
In conclusion, Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ new high-energy laser system for anti-drone defense is a significant development in the field of VSHORAD systems. The system’s ability to identify, track, and destroy drones with high accuracy makes it an effective defense system against potential drone threats. The system’s development is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA), and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.