A new high-energy laser weapon capable of destroying aircrafts mid-flight has been successfully tested on a navy warship owned by the United States of America.
The Pacific Fleet of the US Navy revealed that the new weapon in a series of pictures and videos, which show the USS Portland executing the first “system-level implementation” of a high-energy class solid-state laser.
The deadly weapon is made especially to disable an aerial drone aircraft.
The Navy did not reveal the power of the new weapon.
However, according to a report that was published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2018, the laser beam would be around 150-kilowatt.
Not only that, but the Navy did not reveal the location in which the weapon was tested, choosing only to reveal that it happened in the Pacific Ocean on May 16, 2020.
Pictures show the laser coming from the deck of the amphibious transport dock ship.
A video that they released shows a drone burning as a result of the attack.
Karrey Sanders, a Captain that is also a commanding officer of Portland, said:
By conducting advanced at sea tests against UAVs and small crafts, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats. The Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the Navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems. With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy.
The lasers are being referred to as “DEW”, which stands for Directed Energy Weapons, and are said to be effective against small armed boats or the use of illegal drones.
The statement by Captain Sanders added:
The Navy’s development of DEWs like the laser weapons system demonstrator (LWSD) provide immediate warfighter benefits and provide the commander increased decision space and response options.
This is not the first time the United States of America has tested something that is very high-tech.
In 2017, CNN witnessed a live-fire exercise of a 30-kilowatt laser weapon aboard the amphibious transport ship USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf.
At the time, Lt. Cale Hughes, a laser weapons system officer, explained how such deadly machines work and destroy their target.
Lt. Hughes said:
It is throwing massive amounts of photons at an incoming object. We don’t worry about wind, we don’t worry about range, we don’t worry about anything else. We’re able to engage the targets at the speed of light.
The Ponce was retired from service later that year.