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The United States began testing combat lasers in the Middle East

The US Army is taking new steps in military technology by sending four prototype 50-kilowatt anti-aircraft laser systems mounted on Stryker armored vehicles to the Middle East for real-world testing. The move, documented by American online military publication Breaking Defense, is part of the DE M-SHORAD project, which aims to develop an effective air defense system to combat drones, missiles, artillery shells and mines.

The first tests of this system were carried out in August 2021 at the Fort Sill base in Oklahoma. As Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Army General James Mingus noted, despite the fact that these are just prototypes, it is important to conduct experiments in real combat conditions to identify potential shortcomings and improve the technology.

Currently, four prototypes are undergoing initial testing without live firing. According to General Mingus, once this phase is completed, it will take several months to process the results, which will help determine the future use of lasers on Strykers. The experiments are aimed at testing the effectiveness of 50-kilowatt lasers as a short-range air defense system and the possibility of their use against various airborne threats.

The accelerated proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles in war zones such as Ukraine and the Middle East requires new approaches to defense. According to Breaking Defense, the problem of using expensive anti-aircraft missiles to destroy small kamikaze drones, such as Yemen's Houthis in the Red Sea, highlights the need to develop and implement more economical and effective air defense systems.

 

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