US Navy readies 'laser attack' weapon in 2014

The US Navy said it is preparing to roll out a sea-based laser weapon capable of disabling small enemy vessels and shooting down surveillance drones.

The laser system will be deployed in 2014, two years ahead of schedule, aboard the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship retrofitted as a waterborne staging base, the Navy said Monday.

Chief of Naval Research Admiral Matthew Klunder said the cost of one blast of "directed energy" could be less than $1.

"Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability," he said in a US Navy statement.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Sea Systems Command successfully tested high-energy lasers against a moving target ship and a remotely piloted drone.

"The future is here," ONR official Peter Morrision said.

"The solid-state laser is a big step forward to revolutionizing modern warfare with directed energy, just as gunpowder did in the era of knives and swords."

The laser runs on electricity, so the weapon "can be fired as long as there is power," and is a lot safer than carrying explosives aboard ships.

The Navy released a video of a laser test and posted it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmoldX1wKYQ&feature=youtu.be .

The New York Times, which said the USS Ponce would deploy to the Gulf, noted the Pentagon had a "long history of grossly inflating" claims for experimental weapons.

Navy officials had acknowledged that the prototype laser was not yet strong enough to bring down a jet fighter or a missile, although those remained the long-term targets, The Times reported.

A March 14 report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Center said the new weapon was a potential game-changer in naval warfare.

"Compared to existing ship self-defense systems, such as missiles and guns, lasers could provide Navy surface ships with a more cost effective means of countering certain surface, air, and ballistic missile targets," the report read.

Equipping Navy ships with lasers "could lead to changes in naval tactics, ship design and procurement plans for ship-based weapons, bringing about a technological shift for the Navy - a ‘game changer' - comparable to the advent of shipboard missiles in the 1950s," it added.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The return of Gigi Reyes Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

  • Viernes Santo in Kalibo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Viernes Santo in Kalibo

    Photos by Little Wing Luna, VERA Files Text by Mitch Meñez Kalibo, Aklan--Viernes Santo or Good Friday is the most solemn of all the days in Holy Week. It commemorates the Passion and Death of Jesus on the Cross. The … Continue reading → …

  • Hugas Dugo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Hugas Dugo

    Text by Kimmy Baraoidan, VERA Files Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan Pakil, Laguna--In the small town of Pakil, Laguna resides a group of men who call themselves Hugas Dugo. Most members of the group are residents of the … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options