The US Navy’s AN/SEQ-3 Laser Weapon System (LaWS) is currently installed on the USS Ponce for field testing and the system worked perfectly against low-end asymmetric threats. The commander of the Ponce is has also been given authorization to use the system as a defensive weapon if necessary. So far, it has publicly engaged an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) and a simulated small-boat attacker. Read more for a video and additional information.
The LaWS system uses an infrared beam from a solid-state laser array which can be tuned to high output to destroy the target or low output to warn or cripple the sensors of a target. Unlike projectile weapons, LaWS offers a low cost per shot, as each firing of the weapon requires only the minimal cost of generating the energetic pulse; by contrast ordnance for projectile weapons must be designed, manufactured, handled, transported and maintained, and takes up storage space.