Although it may seem like something out of the cinema, the United States tested the power of a laser weapon. As if it were the Star Wars sabers, the United States showed off a laser weapon. The laser could destroy drones and small boats, according to the United States Navy.
A United States Navy warship has successfully tested a new high-energy laser weapon that can destroy drones in mid-flight, the Navy Pacific Fleet said in a statement Friday.
Images and videos provided by the Navy show that the amphibious transport ship USS Portland is executing “the first system-level deployment of a high-energy class solid-state laser” to deactivate a drone, according to the statement, quoted by CNN.
The images show the laser emanating from the warship deck. The short videos teach what appears to be the burning drone.
The Navy did not give a specific location for the Laser Weapons System Demonstrator (LWSD) test, only saying it occurred in the Pacific on May 16.
The power of the weapon was not disclosed, but a 2018 report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies said it was expected to be a 150-kilowatt laser.
“By conducting advanced tests at sea against unmanned vehicles and small craft, we will gain valuable insight into the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator’s capabilities against potential threats,” Capt. Karrey Sanders, commander of the USS Portland, said in the statement. .
“With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy,” he said.
The Navy says lasers, which it calls Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs), may be effective defenses against drones or small armed vessels.
“The development of Navy DEWs such as the LWSD provides immediate benefits for war fighters and provides the commander with greater decision space and response options,” the statement said.
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.
– U.S. Pacific Fleet (@USPacificFleet) May 22, 2020
At that time, Lt. Cale Hughes, an officer in the laser weapon system, described how the United States laser weapon works.
“It is throwing massive amounts of photons at an incoming object,” Hughes said. “We don’t care about the wind, we don’t care about the scope, we don’t care about anything else. We are able to attack targets at the speed of light. “
Ponce was retired from service later that year.
Trump announces plan to abandon open skies treaty
The test of a U.S. laser weapon comes after President Donald Trump’s government notified its international partners Thursday that it will withdraw from a treaty that allows some 30 nations to conduct unarmed observation flights over their respective territories. The intention of the treaty, signed decades ago, is to promote trust and avoid conflict.