China has reportedly constructed a laser weapon that can shoot down a light drone in flight, just days before the Asia-Pacific forum that has prompted Beijing to improve its security measures.
The device allegedly has a range of two kilometers and can shoot down a target flying at a lower altitude, less than five seconds after locating it, state media agency Xinhua reports.
"Intercepting such drones is usually the work of snipers and helicopters, but their success rate is not as high and mistakes with accuracy can result in unwanted damage," said Yi Jinsong, a manager with China Jiuyuan Hi-Tech Equipment Corp, a firm under the China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP).
According to Yi, small unmanned flying vehicles are relatively cheap and easy to handle, making them a possible choice for terrorists.
The weapon is expected to "play a key role in ensuring security during major events in urban areas" and address concerns on unlicensed mapping activities, according to Xinhua.
State media published pictures of large, metal boxes covered in camouflage paint. On top of them lies a cannon that fires the laser beam. The agency also published pictures of drones destroyed during the flight.
This mechanism is expected to play a crucial role in securing bigger events in urban areas.
Next week, Beijing will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, a meeting that the Chinese capitol uses to significantly boost its security measures.