Washington: Only a few days ago, a Chinese government mouthpiece, the Global Times had claimed that the Chinese helicopter drones equipped with mortars, grenades and machine guns were ready to launch swarm attacks on the enemy. At the time, another warning stating that the attack drones could pose a challenge to the United States, which was confronting China in the East and the South China Sea. The United States had given a sharp reply to China’s warning. Officials from US marines informed that they would soon be testing anti-drone lasers. Therefore, along with the US Navy and US Air Force, the US Army would also be equipped with lasers.
All the countries of the world have taken initiatives to develop drones. The Chinese drones were reportedly said to have an exclusive demand, in the African and Latin American countries. Therefore, concerns are being expressed over the Global Times report clarifying the Chinese position on swarm drones. Some analysts and US media have stated that the Chinese swarm drones can pose a severe challenge to the US warships patrolling the Indo-Pacific sector. Given the background, the US Marines laser testing becomes very significant.
The lasers have been developed by Boing, the leading arms manufacturing company in the United States. ‘Compact Laser Weapons System’ is the first laser system that can be mounted on a military vehicle. The US Department of Defence has permitted the deployment of the lasers, and the US marines would be equipped with the systems, soon. As of now, the lasers are in the testing phase. The US Marine Corps informed that CLAWS would be manufactured on a mass scale, once it clears all the testing criteria.
The use of anti-drone lasers would not be limited only to the US Marines. The Corps clarified that if positive feedback were received from the marines, the other defence forces also would be equipped with the laser systems. In February, preliminary testing of the lasers was carried out. The laser can emit laser beams of two, five and ten kilowatts. These beams can be used to melt the drones. However, the lasers can be used for melting drones and significantly increasing the capacity of the lasers, may also be considered in the future, an official from the United States said.
The Houthi rebels from Yemen and IS terrorists from Iraq are launching attacks using lasers. US Homeland Security had warned a few weeks ago that increasing the use of drones, is posing a threat to internal security. The costs of the drones are reducing in the international market. Also, the Chinese company, DJI has announced a plan to set up a manufacturing facility, in the city of California, in the United States. DJI has said that the decision was taken, considering the increasing demand for Chinese drones even in the United States. Nevertheless, the US analysts have expressed concerns over the Chinese drone company likely posing a challenge to the US internal security.
Given the developments, the United States has prepared to tackle the Chinese swarm drones with the anti-drone laser system. Meanwhile, the United States has already expedited the process of deploying laser systems in the Air Force.