Drones Armed With High-Energy Lasers May Arrive In 2017

Defense One

Flying military robots armed with high-energy lasers? It’s a future that is exciting, terrifying — and perhaps just two years away.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., or GAASI,  the San Diego-based company that makes the Predator and Reaper drones, is undertaking a privately funded study to integrate a 150-kilowatt solid-state laser onto its Avenger (née Predator-C) drone. If the company gets its way, a drone with a high-energy laser will be a reality at some point in 2017, company executives toldDefense One.

“We’re funded right now to develop a laser module compatible with the aircraft and study putting it on the Avenger,” Michael Perry, Vice President for Mission Systems at GAASI, toldDefense One. “We hope to be funded to do that,” he said.

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