United States tests new powerful laser weapon to destroy drones

The U.S. Navy has been developing directed-energy weapons (DEWs), to include lasers, since the 1960s

Amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) successfully disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a Solid State Laser – Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) on May 16. This was reported by the press service of the US Pacific Fleet Command.

LWSD is a high-energy laser weapon system demonstrator developed by the Office of Naval Research and installed on Portland for an at-sea demonstration. LWSD’s operational employment on a Pacific Fleet ship is the first system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid-state laser. The laser system was developed by Northrup Grumman, with full System and Ship Integration and Testing led by NSWC Dahlgren and Port Hueneme.

“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,” said Capt. Karrey Sanders, commanding officer of Portland.

The U.S. Navy has been developing directed-energy weapons (DEWs), to include lasers, since the 1960s. DEWs are defined as electromagnetic systems capable of converting chemical or electrical energy to radiated energy and focusing it on a target, resulting in physical damage that degrades, neutralizes, defeats, or destroys an adversarial capability.

Navy ships face an increasing number of threats in conducting their missions, including UAVs, armed small boats, and adversary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. The Navy’s development of DEWs like the LWSD, provide immediate warfighter benefits and provide the commander increased decision space and response options.

“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, “ said Sanders. “With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy.”

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  1. I’m waiting for the release of the version that destroys hypersonic, invincible, invisible missiles. 😁

    • Oh they’re coming alright. I believe they’ve already been tested on some missile systems. Soon there will be a complete network of them patrolling the atmosphere, ridding the planet of Moskali and Chinese provocations and invasions. But we must remember, the Moskali military weaponry is far more robust and advanced than the US…..ahem…..or so we keep hearing every day on RT.

      • Was reading about the manned SpaceX mission to the ISS. Another nail in the Russian space industry coffin. I remember the head of Roscosmos smirking last year about SpaceX and Musk. I doubt he’s smirking now.

    • IZHEVSK, May 21. /TASS/. ZALA Aero, an affiliate of the Kalashnikov Concern and a Russian drone producer, has created a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drone, the group enterprise announced on its website Thursday.

      New law does not hamper development of UAV market in Russia — Kremlin

      “The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ZALA 421-16EV has been developed using a tilt-rotor plane type — the hybrid of a fixed-wing and rotary-wing UAV. The unique advantage of this specific model is the option of a fully automatic vertical takeoff and landing.”

      The UAV relays HD video stream, enabling the station operator on the ground to view the video stream in detail. This innovation has already undergone successful factory and field tests.

      Capable of operating for two hours at a cruising speed of up to 110 km/h, the drone can be used in monitoring and in aerial surveys of hard-to-reach points and sites. The key advantage of the tilt-rotor model is that it does not need launching from a catapult and a prepared pad for takeoff and landing.

      ZALA Aero is a leading Russian producer of unmanned aerial vehicles, payloads and mobile systems. Over 2,000 drones produced by the company are currently in operation in Russia.


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