Always one to ensure that our soldiers are equipped with the latest and greatest killing tools battlefield technology, military contractor Northrop Grumman has just unveiled a mobile defense system that creates a virtual bubble of protection against flying artillery over anything located within a five kilometer radius. Based on the Tactical High Energy Laser testbed that's been in development since 1996, the so-called Skyguard system employs target-acquisition radar and a deuterium fluoride laser to detect and shoot down a variety of airborne projectiles, including rockets, mortars, and short-range munitions. Northrop is promoting the weapon as a way for countries to defend deployed troops or critical infrastructure such as airports, and not surprisingly, Israel was one of the first foreign nations given a product pitch. Initially the system is said to cost between $150 and $200 million per installation, though mass adoption could see prices plummet to less than $30 million- and someday it may even be affordable enough to install at your very own house, providing the neighborhood kids with some not-so-subtle encouragement to keep their baseballs and frisbees out of your damn yard.

[Via Gizmag and Laser Focus World]

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