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U.S. Army shoots down UAVs in the Middle East with lasers

U.S. Army shoots down UAVs in the Middle East with lasers
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American troops successfully use laser weapons to repel enemy drones in the Middle East. Forbes spoke with Doug Bush, chief of procurement for the US Army, who says the lasers worked "in some cases."

While it is known that lasers have been deployed on American ships and tested abroad over the past decade, this is the first official confirmation by the Pentagon of their use against the enemy.

The head of supply for the US Army did not specify exactly which laser weapon was used, but it could have been the P-HEL system. In April, it was reported that the US Army officially deployed 20 kW P-HEL lasers abroad to destroy drones.

BlueHalo has been awarded a four-year contract to provide preventive and corrective technical maintenance, as well as training for operators and maintenance team for the Palletized High Energy Laser (P-HEL) system. This contract designates BlueHalo as the primary system integrator at all stages of P-HEL, from prototype development to deployment. The system was developed in 2022.

It was also not reported which specific enemies were targeted, but likely it was the Houthi rebels in Yemen who disrupt navigation in the Red Sea. The possibility of using laser weapons against them was reported by the press as early as 2021.

Forbes notes that it is extremely disadvantageous for US forces to shoot down drones costing $2000 with missiles costing $2 million. However, the cost of one shot from a laser ranges from $1 to $10 - the cost of the necessary electricity.

The US military became interested in directed energy weapons since the development of the first operational lasers in the early 1960s. By 1973, DARPA even shot down a drone with a laser for the first time during tests at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Sources: Forbes,, Army Recognition

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