China has unveiled a new laser-based air defense system to take out small, low-altitude enemy drones.
Called the LW-30 laser defense weapon system, the technology was unveiled by the China Space Sanjiang Group (CSSG) during Airshow China 2022 in Guangdong province.
According to a report by state-owned Global Times, the weapon can strike unmanned systems below an altitude of one kilometer (0.6 miles) and speed of around 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour.
It can also neutralize drones with a radar cross-section smaller than one square meter (3.8 square miles).
“The LW-30 laser defense weapon system has a power output of 30kw. The laser comes out of the canister of the tracking and firing system and hits the target directly, knocking it out,” CSSG spokesman Chen Chaoyang told Global Times.
China’s LW-30 laser weapon offers light-speed engagement, silent attack, and high cost-effectiveness.
It is also suitable for continuous operation and can hit targets with pinpoint accuracy.
Additionally, the weapon has a hard killing capability against small drones and a soft killing capability against detection and guidance equipment.
“The system is effective at intercepting targets within a few kilometers,” Chen explained. “Achieving instantaneous destruction of the [drones] requires a higher-power output from the system, and the weapon system is still being optimized for this purpose.”
The anti-drone system can be incorporated into conventional air defense systems and be used with traditional military weapons, artillery systems, and air defense missiles.