Army testers are working on a more powerful laser to shoot down enemy drones.
Soldiers at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, recently tested drone resupply, short-range air defense, precision targeting and anti-drone lasers, Training and Doctrine Command officials said Wednesday.
The 5kW Stryker-mounted Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser used in the exercise is the second version of the anti-drone laser, but a third version is on the way.
The current laser knocked down 12 targets during the Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment, or MFIX, in April at Fort Sill, officials said.
"It was extremely efficient," said Staff Sgt. Eric Davis, a fire support NCO with 4th Division Artillery, 4th Infantry Division. "I was able to bring them down as they were able to bring them up."
At the next exercise in November, testers will evaluate a more powerful 10kW laser, said John Haithcock, director of the Fires Battle Lab. If it performs well, the laser will be used at the Joint Warfighting Assessment next year and likely head out to deployed units.
The first version, unveiled at last year's MFIX, was a 2kW version.
The event puts industry and military teams together to get soldier feedback earlier in the equipment production process, said Col. Ernest "Lee" Dunlap, a research chief at the Army Capabilities Integration Center.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.