The US Navy continues to tout its sophisticated warship laser system, saying it has performed above expectations for the last four months of operational testing aboard the USS Ponce during its deployment in the Persian Gulf.
The $40 million Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was fully integrated on the USS Ponce at the end of the summer for a year of testing, according to Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, head of the Office of Naval Research.
Recently-released video of the 30-kilowatt laser showed it taking down a small aerial drone in two seconds before the aircraft plunged into the sea.
LaWS works by focusing beams from six solid-state commercial welding lasers into a single strong beam, which can be used both as a blinding warning shot or as a weapon capable of setting fire to anti-ship arms or other threats to US warships, especially small, fast-moving targets.
“This is the first time in recorded history that a directed energy weapons system has ever deployed on anything,” Klunder said, according to Reuters.
Another clip in the new video showed LaWS successfully detonating a rocket-propelled grenade shot from a small, distant boat… see more