The U.S. Navy successfully tested a new generation laser weapon system earlier this week in the Gulf of Aden, the Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet said in a statement on Thursday.
During the demonstration on Wednesday, a high-energy laser weapon was fired from the USS Portland, an amphibious transport dock ship, on a static surface training target. The Laser Weapons System Demonstrator, or LWSD, had been previously tested in May 2020, when it successfully disabled a small unmanned aerial system while operating in the Pacific Ocean.
Amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) conducted a high-energy laser weapon system demonstration, Dec. 14, while sailing in the Gulf of Aden. Read more https://t.co/nYWqgtbLdQ pic.twitter.com/L0xfysIG1q— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) December 15, 2021
The laser weapon isn’t entirely new to the U.S. Navy. The LWSD has been integrated in the Portland since 2018 and builds on a previous laser system which was tested for three years aboard the USS Ponce while operating in the Middle East.