Japan to step up research on high-output military laser
Japan Times -- Jan 04
The Defense Ministry will crank into high gear its research to develop a high-output military laser that can intercept mortar rounds and enemy drones flying at low altitudes.

The ministry included development outlays of ¥8.7 billion for such research in the fiscal 2018 budget.

It plans to open bidding soon for the building of a prototype land-based laser weapons system for research use and hopes to complete a technical evaluation by fiscal 2023, sources said.

Many countries, including the United States and China, have begun to develop laser weapons. The U.S. military has already started operating such weapons installed on landing ships.

The time available to intercept missiles and similar weapons has become increasingly short due to improvements in the stealth capabilities of fighter jets, the lowering of missile flight altitudes and increasing missile speeds.

Laser weapons can destroy targets instantly, reducing the need for trajectory calculations that are essential for current missile interceptors.

Unlike missiles and anti-aircraft artillery shells, the lack of debris from laser weapons means less damage at ground level.

News source: Japan Times
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