A Raytheon-US Navy team has successfully destroyed four drones flying over the sea by using a combined-beam fibre laser.

The unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down using the navy’s laser weapon system (LaWS) guided by Raytheon’s Phalanx close-in weapon system sensor suite.

During the test, the Phalanx operator tracked and provided the target range data to the LaWS, mounted on a stable platform, allowing it to destroy the drones.

Raytheon Missile Systems president Taylor W Lawrence said the team demonstrated the system’s capability to detect, track, engage and defeat dynamic targets at tactically significant ranges in a maritime environment.

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“The Raytheon-US Navy team is moving directed energy solutions toward utility in the battlespace to provide warfighters with speed-of-light protection,” he said.

“This shoot down leverages the significant investment the navy has made in the Phalanx close-in weapon system and extends its combat-proven leadership in close-in defence systems.”