South Korea To Deploy Laser Weapons Against North Korean Drones

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In a groundbreaking move, South Korea announced on Thursday that it will deploy laser weapons this year to counter North Korean drone threats, becoming the first country to operationalise such advanced military technology. The initiative, known as the “StarWars project,” is spearheaded by South Korea’s arms procurement agency, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), in collaboration with Hanwha Aerospace.

The laser weapons are designed to shoot down drones by burning through their engines or other electronic components with beams of light for 10 to 20 seconds. These systems are described as both effective and cost-efficient, with each shot costing approximately 2,000 won ($1.45). The lasers operate quietly and are invisible to the naked eye, providing a significant strategic advantage.

“Our country is becoming the first in the world to deploy and operate laser weapons, enhancing our military’s response capabilities against North Korea’s drone provocations,” DAPA stated. The agency said that these weapons could be a game changer on future battlefields.

The urgency of deploying these laser systems has been underscored by recent incidents. In December, five North Korean drones breached South Korean airspace, leading Seoul to dispatch fighter jets and attack helicopters in an attempt to neutralise the threat. This was the first such incursion since 2017, highlighting the ongoing tensions and the necessity for advanced defensive measures.

The Korean Peninsula remains technically at war, as the Korean War (1950-1953) ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, maintaining a volatile Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Both nations have previously violated the armistice by sending drones into each other’s territory, according to the United States.

The global race to develop and deploy laser weapons, also known as directed energy weapons, is intensifying. Countries such as China and the United Kingdom are also pursuing similar technologies to counter the increasing proliferation of unmanned systems, as well as to target missiles and satellites. According to the RAND Corporation, a U.S. nonprofit think tank, there is substantial interest in these weapons for their potential to reshape modern warfare.

Melissa Enoch

The post South Korea To Deploy Laser Weapons Against North Korean Drones appeared first on Arise News.

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