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Second test of Air Force’s drone-killing laser may start later this year

SpaceWar.com reports: “Further experiments in directed energy weapons — which use of lasers and microwaves to intercept hostile airborne objects — are expected in 2021, the U.S. Air Force said on Wednesday.

A one-year assessment of the High Energy Laser Weapon System 2, or HELWS2, made by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, began in spring 2020, with a second test expected 6 to 12 months after it is completed, the Air Force said in a statement.

The system uses commercial, off-the-shelf equipment to ‘identify and neutralize hostile or unauthorized UAS [unmanned aerial systems] in seconds and, when connected to a generator, to provide ‘a nearly infinite number of shots,’‘ a Congressional Research Service report said in January.

They follow tests of an earlier version, known as H1, which concentrated on weapons designed to prevent observation and assault by drones…”

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