On the occasion of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the capital wishes to guarantee the protection of its skies in part thanks to a formidable new anti-drone laser. The device has just been ordered by the Army from the French company Cilas (from ArianeGroup) and will be deployed initially during the Rugby World Cup next year.
It has been several months since the rumor circulated and that tests continued in the south-west of France. We now know a little more about this portable system, in the form of a case mounted on a tripod. Discreet, it is no less formidable in terms of detection and destruction capacity.
Don’t imagine a missile launcher though. His primary weapon is a 2 kilowatt laser. But this will be enough to destroy drones between 25 and 100 kg. In the video, the damage shown is substantial. The device has enough to stand up to the American model presented earlier last year.
Two possible modes for “shooting”
The detection of the system is effective within a radius of 3 kilometers. The laser action is available from a kilometer away, and the company behind the product guarantees that any aircraft will fall straight down – unless the drone is using its electromagnetic jamming system which will give the drone pilot the ability to recover their drone and to land it.
Faced with unidentified drones, the Army will certainly not hesitate to “shoot” all aircraft weighing between 25 and 100 kg, in the airspace of an event as secure as the Olympic Games. But a CNN journalist reminded that such situations could prove to be very difficult to manage while the fall of a drone can also prove to be dangerous. Hence the importance of a “simple” electromagnetic jamming system.
In the Sahel, equivalent systems exist and the French Directorate General of Armaments has launched an investment plan of 350 million euros spread over 11 years to equip itself with anti-drone security systems. The evolution of their technologies and the rapid increase in the number of aircraft in circulation in the world increase the threat. In France alone, 2.5 million drones are in circulation.
The devices are expensive and perform well provided they have a surgically accurate tracking system. This is one of the points on which the Cilas company has highlighted its device. In the future, it will be deployed on naval infrastructure. To do this, the device will have to take into consideration both its moving support and the trajectory of the targeted aircraft. A state-of-the-art system.