Boeing announced today the successful use of a laser system in shooting down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in a test environment. The US Air Force sponsored the testing, which took place in California, and the system was developed by Boeing Directed Energy Systems.
The laser system, known as the Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated eXperiments (MATRIX), was developed by Boeing under a contract from the Air Force. The system used a high beam laser to shoot down five UAVs at different ranges. MATRIX is a mobile device that uses existing test-range radar alongside high energy weapon technology. Bill Baker of the Air Force said “These tests validate the use of directed energy to negate potential hostile threats against the homeland. The team effort of Boeing and the Air Force in developing MATRIX will pay major dividends for the warfighter now and in the years ahead.” Gary Fitzmire, VP and program director of Boeing Missile Defense Systems’ Directed Energy Systems unit, said “MATRIX’s performance is especially noteworthy because it demonstrated unprecedented, ultra-precise and lethal acquisition, pointing and tracking at long ranges using relatively low laser power.”