French Navy to Test Laser Defense Weapon for Drones

Laser Defense Weapon Gets Trail Test Run for French Navy

After the United States Navy began using a laser-based anti-drone system for point defense, the French Navy is about to begin testing a similar system, as they see it as a possible replacement for explosive-laden drones and small craft that would offer a new level of security for their maritime assets.

A drone armed or loaded with explosives is ubiquitous in modern warfare, and surface-borne drones have been implicated in connection with the ongoing Yemeni Civil War. To address these threats, a French defense firm, CILAS, has devised a strategy. With HELMA-laser P’s tracking platform, the system can follow drones in flight and then use a modest two-kilowatt laser to bring them down.

Over the past year, CILAS has used the laser weapon on drones to target threats in France, and it has reportedly taken down nearly 3 dozen of those drones. Minister of Defense Florence Parly announced that following the end of the trials on July 7, the system was ready for a trial on a French Navy vessel.

Neither the name of the vessel or the make of the ship were announced in connection with the first trial.