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China Successfully Develops Laser Defense System Against Drones

has successfully tested a self-developed laser defense system against
small-scale low-altitude drones, state media said on Sunday.

laser defense system is capable of shooting down small aircraft within a
two-km (1.2-mile) radius and can do so within five seconds of locating
its target, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting a statement by
the China Academy of Engineering Physics.
The academy is one of the drone defense system’s co-developers, Xinhua said.

reported development comes as concerns about the country’s military
preparedness are being raised in state media. A front page article in
China’s official military newspaper last month said that weaknesses in
military training posed a threat to the country’s ability to fight and
win a war.

The paper – the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Daily – said in the same report that China’s military authorities had
sent a document out to units detailing 40 weaknesses in current training

President Xi Jinping has been pushing to
strengthen the fighting ability of China’s 2.3 million-strong armed
forces as they project power across disputed waters in the East and
South China Seas. China has developed stealth jets and has built one
aircraft carrier.

The country’s armed forces, the world’s
largest, came under criticism earlier this year from serving and retired
Chinese officers and state media, who questioned whether they were too
corrupt to win a war.

According to Sunday’s Xinhua story,
the drone defense system is designed to destroy small-scale drones
flying within an altitude of 500 meters and at speeds below 50 meters
per second.

“Intercepting such drones is usually the work of
snipers and helicopters, but their success rate is not as high and
mistakes with accuracy can result in unwanted damage,” Yi Jinsong, a
manager involved with the project, was quoted as saying.