Russia says it is close to introducing a high-powered laser to shoot down drones and light aircraft, a potential tool in its attempt to invade Ukraine.
“Our physicists have developed laser systems that are many times more powerful, allowing for the incineration of various targets, and are also practically building them ready for mass production,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said at a conference near Moscow on Wednesday, the state-run news agency TASS reported.
According to Borisov, the new laser weapon has a range of 5 kilometres and can shoot down drones at that height.
According to the report, the new system was tested on Tuesday and reportedly incinerated a drone within five seconds. Now it is slowly being introduced into the armed forces, he said. “The first prototypes are already being used,” Borisov said.
The information could not be verified. No pictures were shown either.
The laser is to replace air defence missiles, which are much more expensive to buy. Russia reports the firing of drones with missiles almost every day in its war against Ukraine.
Borisov also praised the Russian laser weapon, named Peresvet, which cannot shoot down drones but can “blind” and thus disable enemy satellite and reconnaissance systems. According to the report, the range of Peresvet is 1,500 kilometres.