The U.S. Navy has successfully conducted a demonstration of high-energy laser weapons mounted on warships,media New Atlas reported. On May 16, 2020, the Portland amphibious dock transport ship (LPD 27) locked and destroyed a drone with its Solid State Laser Technology Mature System (SSL-TM) Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) MK 2 MOD 0.
Lasers and other directed energy weapons (DUUs) have become a high priority for the world’s major military Powers because they can attack targets at the speed of light and shoot them down at a dollar-a-dollar price.
The LWSD used in a recent experiment at an undisclosed location was developed by the U.S. Naval Research Office using a solid-state laser developed by Northrop Grumman. It is one of several DUUs being produced for the U.S. Armed Forces and was developed on the basis of successful maritime testing of early lasers aboard the USS Ponce in 2014.
According to the U.S. Navy, the laser’s purpose is not necessarily to destroy a target, but to destroy, lower, moderate, or defeat the target’s capabilities.
“Through advanced maritime testing of drones and small aircraft, we will have valuable information about the capabilities of solid-state laser weapon system demonstrators to counter potential threats,” said Capt. Karrey Sanders, captain of the Portland. “The Solid State Laser Weapon System Demonstrator is a unique capability acquired by the Portland that can be tested and operated by the Navy while paving the way for future weapon systems. With this new advanced capability, we are redefining maritime warfare for the Navy. “