Navy Deploying Ship-Borne Lasers

The U.S. Navy is deploying a solid-state laser for the first time aboard the USS Ponce this summer (2014), and rail guns aren’t far behind reports the U.S. Navy. The lasers will complement kinetic based weapons to create another layer of protection for forward-deployed forces. The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) is designed to target asymmetrical threats, including aerial drones and speed boats, as well as conventional threats such as aircraft and missiles. The systems will be very cost effective, replacing other defense systems that cost upwards of $1 million apiece (in the case of interceptor missiles). The laser system, on the other hand, can be fired repeatedly at dollars per shot.



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