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Australian Army tests laser-guided C-UAS

AIM Defence employees operate the AIM Defence Counter-UAS Directed Energy Weapons System during a demonstration at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian Army has tested the ‘Fractl Portable High Energy Laser' counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) developed by Melbourne company AIM Defence, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) said in a press release in mid-June.

The Fractl is a directed energy weapon (DEW) capable of tracking objects “as small as a 10 cent piece travelling [at] 100 km/h”, the DoD said.

During the test – which took place at Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria, in late-May – the Australian Army “hard killed” an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying at a distance of 500 m with the Fractl, the DoD added.

According to the DoD, the laser's strength “is limited by the power supply, and AIM Defence has successfully engaged UAVs [with the Fractl] at 1 km in past tests”.

Jessica Glenn, AIM Defence's co-founder, said in the DoD press release that the “Puckapunyal demonstration was an exceptional result for the company”.

“It paints a pathway toward getting this novel wavelength to match similar ranges as our one-micron system, which is achieving 1.5 km counter-sensor and approximately 1 km hard-kill engagements,” Glenn said.

In March the Australian Defence Force (ADF) signed a AUD4.9 million (USD3.2 million) contract with AIM Defence to produce a prototype of Fractl for field-based counter-UAV trials and evaluation.

For more information, please seeAustralia – Army .

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