Low Altitude Guard II

Air Defence Systems Weapons

Low Altitude Guard II

The New Chinese Anti UAV Laser Weapon

In 2014, China unveiled an anti-UAV Laser weapons system which was presented as a law enforcement/ counter terrorism tool. The weapon system, called the Low Altitude Guard ( refereed to as the Sentinel  in some sources) was reported to have a range of 2 kilometers and the ability to shoot down small UAV/drones.the advantage of using laser was obvious in that it reduced the possibility of collateral damage, as compared to using AAA or missiles in shooting down drones.

 

Chinese media was quite forthcoming in pointing out the serious limitations of LAG I, highlighting the fact that it was only capable of successfully downing “various small aircraft within a two-kilometer radius” though it was also emphasised  that the system successfully shot down 30 drones with a 100 percent success rate. The major limitations was its inability to shoot down military grade drones which cruise at higher altitudes.

 

The improved version, the Low Altitude Guard II, was revealed at the Africa Aerospace and Defense 2016 tradeshow in South Africa. Low Altitude Guard II ( LAG II) is more powerful and ruggedized to military standards. The power output is 30 kilowatts, an increase of 300 percent over LAG I, giving it a range of 4 Kilometers. It neds to be seen that the Laser Weapon System (LAWS) installed on USS Ponce has a range of 15-50 Kw which makes LAG II comparable to it.

 

The LAG II can be either mounted on a medium sized truck, or a 6X6 armored personnel carrier and has an eletro-optical guidance system suitable for knocking out drones. The E-O system is kept covered using a dome during transit for protection. While the system may be good enough totrack slow moving targets, it would require to be equipped with more advanced fire control systems if it is expected to counter fast moving targets.

 

References

Kiran Moodley  China develops anti-drone laser system, The Independent, 4 November 2011 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-develops-anti-drone-laser-system-9838363.html

Ishaan Tharoor, China unveils a new anti-drone laser, but it’s the growing Chinese drone fleet that matters, The Washington Post, November 6, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/11/06/china-unveils-a-new-anti-drone-laser-but-its-the-growing-chinese-drone-fleet-that-matters/?utm_term=.311fe222c2cb

Ankit Panda China develops Anti-Drone Lasers, The Diplomat, November 4, 2014, http://thediplomat.com/2014/11/china-develops-anti-drone-lasers/

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer China Sells A New Laser Gun. Popular Science, September 22, 2016 http://www.popsci.com/china-sells-new-laser-gun

 

 

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