The U.S. Navy has released a video of a new laser weapon performing perfectly during tests completed in November.
Known in Navy acronym-speak as LaWS (laser weapon system), it is designed to protect larger U.S. ships against small boats and drones in asymmetrical warfare. The weapon was deployed in the Persian Gulf earlier this year, and has been declared a success. The Office of Naval Research published this footage of LaWS taking out two test targets, with a notably rockin' music soundtrack.
According to a statement released by the Navy, LaWS performed seamlessly in a wide array of weather conditions, and successfully blasted moving targets at sea and in air, including small boats and UAVs. The laser is directed with a “video-game like controller,” and can shift from non-lethal to lethal output to stun or destroy “asymmetrical threats” like small water crafts and drones:
The 30 kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was installed aboard USS Ponce this summer as part of a $40 million research and development effort from ONR and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to test the viability of directed energy weapons in an operational environment, said ONR Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder.
“The captain of that ship has all of the authorities necessary if there was a threat inbound to that ship to protect our sailors and Marines [and] we would defend that ship with that laser system,” Klunder said. “It would be [used] against those [unmanned aerial vehicles], slow moving helicopters, fast patrol craft.”
[video link, via USNI News via Daily Caller]
Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS). Photo: US Navy
USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) transits the Arabian Gulf on Sept. 25, 2014. Photo: US Navy
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