Earlier this week, a U.S. Navy vessel successfully deployed a new, high-energy laser weapon against a training target, completely destroying it.
The target was shot from the deck of the USS Portland, located in the Gulf of Aden as part of a military demonstration. The gulf itself separates East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.
The system was installed in 2018 on the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, and was successful in destroying a target Unmanned Aerial Vehicle last year.
Known as the LWSD (Laser Weapons System Demonstrator), the setup was an advancement on the LaWS (Laser Weapons Systems) that floats on the forward staging base USS Ponce which was tested for three years during operations in the Middle East, according to information released by the Navy.
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 LWSD represents the Navy’s most powerful laser weapon at over five times stronger than the 30-kilowatt LaWS system, which could down small aircraft. The most recent publicly known test of the weapons system is not its first trial.
The ship it’s mounted on is a five-year-old vessel that comprises a portion of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which departed the San Diego Naval Base in August of this year and began testing and operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet region last September.
The Navy explains that the climate, geography, and strategic importance of the test region make it an ideal and unique testing environment that fosters technological information like the new LWSD.
This latest military tech innovation is a crucial element of American national security as our foreign enemies such as China have gained ground in sub-orbital weapon systems that threaten to be able to deliver powerful warheads with precision and speed too great to be blocked by traditional anti-missile systems.
Author: Taylor Simmons