China announces new anti-satellite laser tech

Researchers at China’s National University of Defence Technology say they’ve developed a new cooling system that allows laser weapons to fire indefinitely without overheating, with possible use against satellites.

Are laser weapons a thing now? Yes, but not in the Death Star sense (yet). Militaries in the US, Israel, and elsewhere have developed laser systems to intercept small airborne targets, but their use is still pretty limited.

So China says its new breakthrough could be a game changer, by:

  • ⏰ Extending engagement times
  • 🚀 Increasing range and damage, and
  • 💸 Reducing costs.

Intrigue’s take: We generally take these kinds of big futuristic claims with enough salt to make the Dead Sea jealous.

But China has form here: it made another intriguing laser announcement last year. And we’ve written often about how rapidly the future seems to be bearing down upon us. It just may not always be the future we want.

Also worth noting:

  • Israel’s Iron Beam laser weapon could be integrated into its Iron Dome defence system by 2025.
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