The Pentagon says there is no evidence Russia used laser weapons in its military operation in Ukraine.
“We have seen no evidence of the use of laser systems, at least as a laser weapon, in Ukraine. There is nothing to confirm this,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said during the May 20 meeting.
Earlier on May 18, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said the country’s military had deployed the first prototypes of a laser weapon called Zadira in Ukraine, but did not disclose whether or not this weapon hit a target after implementation.
Borisov said Zadira is more powerful than the Peresvet complex, one of the six superweapons launched by President Vladimir Putin in early 2018. The Peresvet complex specializes in blinding satellites, while Zadira destroys objects by concentrating burning energy.
“Zadira is capable of shooting down many types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which limits the cost of expensive missiles from the Pantsir and Tor air defense complexes.” said Deputy Prime Minister Borissov. “Zadira earlier destroyed the target UAV at a distance of 5 km in 5 seconds.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy scoffed at the above information, saying that “Russia is trying to find its ‘silver bullet’ in the third month of hostilities, all pointing to a complete and obvious failure of its campaign”.
Russia publishes almost nothing about Zadira. Russian media reported in 2017 that the state-owned company Rosatom was involved in the development of a laser weapon system based on new physical principles. The prototype of the Peresvet laser weapon first appeared during testing in 2018.
Nguyen Tien (Corresponding Reuters)