The US Navy has unveiled an all-new Laser Weapon System that’s currently installed on the USS Ponce naval ship in the Persian Gulf. Experts say that it can also be used as a surveillance tool. The prototype builds upon the previous Laser Weapon System (LaWS), and integrates six commercial 5.4 kW fiber lasers with a beam combiner. Sailors use a video game-like controller to control the laser, including power output, etc. Continue reading for a video of it in-action and more information.
“Our nation’s adversaries are pursuing a variety of ways to try and restrict our freedom to operate. Spending about $1 per shot of a directed-energy source that never runs out gives us an alternative to firing costly munitions at inexpensive threats. We have the authorities right now to use it in self-defense. If someone was coming to harm the USS Ponce, we could use this laser system on that threat and we would intend to do so,” says rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, chief of naval research.