China's laser cannon system was unveiled recently and the weapon is able to shoot down drones and other small aircraft from over a mile away, according to reports. In addition, the laser, which can be mounted onto vehicles, can destroy targets in just five seconds.
China's laser cannon, otherwise known as the Low Altitude Sentinel system, was designed by the China Academy of Engineering Physics, a government defense agency. "Various small aircraft" can be shot from a range as far as 1.2 miles and 1600 feet in the air while going up to 112 mph, the developers told state news agency Xinhua.
Although the Chinese government did not release photos of the laser cannon, they did release the results of its testing. The new weapon had a "100 percent success rate," shooting down 30 targets out of 30 with perfect accuracy, CAEP said in a statement.
Yi Jinsong, a manager at China Jiuyuan Hi-Tech Equipment Corp., said that the Low Altitude Sentinel was developed to stop unmanned drones – a kind of technology that can be easily exploited by terrorists.
"Intercepting such drones is usually the work of snipers and helicopters, but their success rate is not as high and mistakes with accuracy can result in unwanted damage," he said.
The laser system will "play a key role in ensuring security developments during major events in urban areas," Xinhua reported. The Chinese government is also working on lasers with longer range.
The U.S. has a similar prototype that can be mounted on a Navy vessel that also functions with lasers.