Skyguard defense laser protects humans, kills missiles

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]