German Scientists Have Built A Real, Functional Laser Turret

You say the words "laser turret", and you think strategy games. Maybe shooters. They're as clichéd a defensive tool that science fiction stories can get, but now, thanks to German scientists, they're real.

While ground-to-laser technology has existed for a while now, this pair of weapons is really something else, boasting a twin-barrel casing that houses a 30kW and a 20kW laser beam, which when paired can track and shoot down drones flying at 50 metres per second.

Or, if the target isn't moving, they can cut through steel girders from a mile away.

If that doesn't sound powerful enough, the weapon's manufacturers, Rheinmetall, say that lasers twice as powerful should be available within 3-5 years.

Seems a bit silly that Black Ops II went to all the trouble of making you shoot down drones with fighter jets, when they could have just parked a few of these outside LA, sat back and watched the rain.

Rheinmetall demos laser that can shoot down drones [BBC, via Motherboard]


    That'll keep those pesky kids off the lawn.

    wouldnt 50 m/s be 180 km/h. pretty slow.

      agreed. and a 'mile' doesn't sound that high in drone terms?!?

      I think you missed a decimal place, 1800km/h.

      Also in replay to vinayp, I read the 1 mile as an effective range for continual cutting through a girder rather than a max range for usual use. I'd assume range for firing on drones is somewhat greater.

        Actually I missed the decimal place and you were right, hit me right after I posted.

        My bad.

          50 m/s is definitely 180 km/h, not 1800

            A quick google reveals this;


            Max: 217 km/h
            Cruise: 130-165 km/h

        To get from m/s to km/h just multiply by 3.6. It's 180km/h.

    That's pretty impressive based on what I've seen of the US military lasers - which aren't very impressive.,mod=8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    I'm guessing if they increase the power of the laser it'll be able to destroy faster moving targets. 180km/h is pretty good though, considering drones aren't exactly super fast...

      A laser needs to target the same point continuously for several seconds to burn through - so both increasing the power and improving how well it can track should increase the target speed at which it's effective.

        It would quite literally just come down to how well the PID is designed and tuned and the capability of the controllers reaction speed. These days we've got PID systems pretty down pat so this shouldn't be too much of an issue. I'm assuming they went for 180km/h due to it being faster than the current drones.

          Implementing a PID is incredibly easy. Identifying and tracking a moving optical signal, and having very precise yet fast-moving and responding actuators are the hard parts.

    "While ground-to-laser technology has existed for a while now"

    I didn't realise the need for soldiers on the ground to shoot down lasers until now.

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