Connor Livingston Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Boeing has a drone-killing laser canon that uses an Xbox 360 controller

59 sec read

Rednecks have proven that shotguns are an excellent way to shoot down commercial drones, but what about military drones? I can’t imagine a shotgun being of much use there. No, for something like that, you’re going to need a hell of a lot more firepower, and Boeing may have just the thing: a laser canon. That’s right, the company has a new laser canon that can be mounted on a tripod and used to shoot down drones, and did I mention it uses an Xbox 360 controller.

Drones are playing an ever-expanding role in modern warfare, so it’s no surprise companies like Boeing are developing news ways to shoot them out of the sky. Its last laser was the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) — a huge weapon mounted to the top of a truck — and now it’s touting something more portable. The Compact Laser Weapons System fits in four suitcase-sized boxes and can be mounted onto a tripod. It looks like a giant camera and, like the HEL MD, uses an Xbox 360 controller for targeting. As soon as you’re in range though, the system can automatically take over and track the UAV, making sure you get a clean shot. Wired reports that, in one of Boeing’s demos, it only took two seconds at full power to set a drone aflame. It’s not the most powerful weapon in the defense contractor’s arsenal though. The idea is that an operator would use it to quickly burn a small, targeted spot on the UAV. In theory, this would be enough to deter the drone’s pilot, or maybe cause it to crash without damaging all of its internal parts.

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Avatar of Connor Livingston
Connor Livingston Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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