US Navy tests world’s first Laser Weapons System

Jul 19, 2017 12:50 IST

The United States Navy has successfully tested the world’s first-ever active Laser Weapons System (LaWS), which is now deployed, all ready for any sort of attack on the Persian Gulf.

The LaWS has been deployed aboard the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship. In the test, the system was able to destroy a drone in flight and moving targets in the Persian Gulf. With its addition, USS Ponce becomes the first ship in the world to be deployed with such an advanced weapons system.

 US Navy tests world’s first Laser Weapons System

Key Details of LaWS

• The weapon is capable of moving at the speed of light, around 50,000 times faster than an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

• It operates in an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum so the beam is not visible.

• The weapon is also completely silent and remarkably precise, which could help limit collateral damage during wartime.

• The total cost of building the weapon is about $40 million.

• All it requires to operate is a supply of electricity, which is derived from its own small generator and a three-member crew.

• One of the weapon's biggest strengths is its versatility. It can be used against a variety of targets, regardless of whether they are airborne or surface or ground-based.

• It is mainly intended to take on drones, aircraft and small vessels that could be used in an attack from countries such as Iran and North Korea.

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Currently, the weapons system is capable of bringing down small airborne aircrafts and disable small boats.

However, the US Navy announced last month that the Pentagon had commissioned arms maker Northrop Grumman to develop a more powerful version of the system that could take on faster targets such as incoming missiles and function as a missile defence system.

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