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Japan’s First C-UAV Laser System Ready

Our Bureau - : Mar 17, 2023 - : 4:21 am

Japan has developed for the first time a counter-UAV (C-UAV) laser system, capable of eliminating enemy drones. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is developing the CUAV system, and the company has unveiled a model of the system at the ongoing DSEI event. “The CUAV was conceptualised three years back and currently it is in its developmental stage. We have one prototype ready,” the company’s spokesman Masahiko Shimizu informed.

As part of the weapon trials, the system recently used 20 kW (10kWx2) laser beams to shoot down two UAVs. “The aim of developing the system is to increase the mobility of counter-drone technology. The system, which can detect and destroy a drone from up to 1.5 kilometres, can be mounted on a vehicle, and we have plans to make it adaptable to ships and aircraft,” he added. “We are also aiming to have a multi-target module.”

As part of its efforts to strengthen the electronic warfare capabilities,  the Japanese government recently said that it will soon start operation of vehicle-mounted laser devices for responding to small UAVs and take measures for early deployment of directed energy technologies such as high-power laser systems and high-power microwaves (HPM). The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has budgeted 2.8 billion yen (US$20 million) in research spending for the counter-drone technology this fiscal year, and has allocated 500 million yen for research on microwaves to be used in counter-drone systems. The government expects the technology to be established by 2024.  “We are working closely with the Ministry of Defence and we are ready to start production as soon as we get the orders from the government,” the spokesman added.

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