China-made Silent Hunter laser air defense system
Silent Hunter fibre-optic laser air defense system is a Low Altitude Laser Defending System (LASS) developed by China independently and this was the first time that its car-borne mobile version was unveiled.
According to a report on the website of Jane’s Defence Weekly, Silent Hunter air defense system was put into use during the Hangzhou G20 Summit from 4 to 5 September 2016. According to brochures handed out then, LASS had the standard output power of 30kW and maximal firing range of up to 4,000 meters.
The laser is mainly designed to intercept large numbers of low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and is said to be able to pierce five layers of 2-mm-thick steel plates at a distance of 800m, or 5-mm-thick steel plate from 1,000m away.
Jane’s Defence Weekly said that the Silent Hunter fibre-optic laser air defense system consisted of an equipment unit the size of a medium-sized truck, which couldn’t be air-borne yet due to size and weight limitation according to official information.But potential customers from many foreign countries already showed strong interests in the weapon system although there have been no orders as yet.
According to reporter of China’s Global Times, the Silent Hunter LASS uses laser beam to deal with UAV or aircraft and boasts notable advantages such as speedy response, high interception rate, simple maintenance, security and capability of dealing with multiple targets. Integrating such functions as search, tracking, attack and damage evaluation, Silent Hunter can search, capture, lock, track and hit down the target.
Compared with traditional air defense weapons, Silent Hunter has the following characteristics: It is highly responsive; it features a high interception rate and multi-target strike capability, and can shift and aim at a new target within six seconds; it is cost-effective and consumes electricity only, with the cost of less than $1 per firing; it doesn’t use ammunition, so there is no need for ammunition transportation and storage; it has small collateral damages and doesn’t generate a lot of fragments.
Silent Hunter offers four power patterns: 5kW, 10kW, 20kW and 30kW, its interception radius ranges from 200m to 4,000m and the target capture radius is more than 4,000m. It is able to intercept targets with the diameter of less than 2m and flying speed of less than 60m/s.
This low-altitude laser air defense system has two versions: a car-borne mobile version and a fixed version.
The former can be installed on a 6X6 wheeled chassis and the latter can be split into several independent parts, each weighing no more than 200kg, so they can be easily transported or installed on top of buildings.