US Navy Shows Off New Ship-Mounted Lasers By Blasting Drones

by Ron Duwell | April 9, 2013April 9, 2013 11:30 pm PDT

The United States Navy will begin mounting Laser Weapons System (LaWS) aboard its ships beginning next year. The video above shows a prototype of the weapon firing at a surveillance drone over the open ocean and explains the different functions of the laser, such as its ability to scramble radar.

“Our directed energy initiatives, and specifically the solid-state laser, are among our highest priority science and technology programs,” Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder said in a press release provided by the U.S. Navy. “The solid-state laser program is central to our commitment to quickly deliver advanced capabilities to forward-deployed forces. This capability provides a tremendously affordable answer to the costly problem of defending against asymmetric threats, and that kind of innovative approach is crucial in a fiscally constrained environment.”

The U.S.S. Ponce, a combatant ship, will be the first of its kind armed with the new prototype. The laser system will cost $32 million for each unit made, but firing will cost less than $1, a figure that’s much cheaper than what it costs to fire a missile.

US Navy Engadget


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...