US Navy is equipped with laser cannon in Persian Gulf
The seven year project which has cost $40 million to develop has been sent with the US Navy who are out on patrol throughout the disputed Persian Gulf.
The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) prototype has been locked and loaded to the bow of the USS Ponce since August – yup, that’s the actual name of the amphibious transport ship it has been attached to.
The LaWS fires a 30kW beam which is generated by focusing the apertures of six solid-state commercial welding lasers onto a single point. The laser weapon can be used to dazzle and distract oncoming craft as well as burning UAVs out of the sky. It may have cost millions to develop but it only costs about a dollar a shot.
The LaWS is expected to remain aboard the Ponce for the next year or so in order to test out the new tech and ensure that it can actually handle the rigors of life aboard a naval vessel.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert put’s it quite succinctly in his interview with Bloomberg interview earlier this year:
I have to take it out and get it wet, and the Arabian Gulf’s a pretty tough environment,”
Should the LaWS pass its trial by sea the data generated from the test will be utilised by the likes of BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon to build an even bigger, more powerful class of lasers that should set sail by 2021.
Prepare yourself for plenty much more pew-pew.
Check out the video of LaWS taking out a UAV below:
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