With drones becoming more prevalent on the battlefield, the relevance of anti-drone munitions has become more apparent—and a must.

Japan recently concluded the biennial Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2023 exhibition in Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo.

Onlookers at the expo caught sight of the two high-energy laser weapon prototypes showcased by two Japanese defense firms. According to reports, these laser systems are specifically designed to take down sophisticated hostile unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which have become more prominent in recent years.

Taking notes from the lessons in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and Tokyo’s very own budding tension with China has urged Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries to develop an anti-drone system capable of defending the island country and its disputed islands against potential swarm attacks by enemy UAVs.

DSEI 2023 Mitsubishi
Screengrab via YouTube

Zaps Within Seconds

Mitsubishi displayed its 10-kilowatt fiber laser, reportedly capable of striking down unmanned drones up to 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) away within two to three seconds.

This laser system prototype has been field tested for the past two years, repeatedly evaluating its laser energy-based counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS). It also has been fitted onto ground vehicles for mobility, noting that the system can serve not only the Ground Self-Defense Force but also the land bases of the Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces.

“Any Self-Defense Force can use it from the ground as long as it is intended to shoot down flying objects,” a Mitsubishi official said, as quoted by The Diplomat.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi unveiled its plans to deliver this laser system prototype to the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) later this year.