Amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland successfully disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle with a Solid State Laser in an exercise, say the U.S. Navy.
Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) is a high-energy laser weapon system demonstrator developed by the Office of Naval Research and installed on the 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. 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, neutralises, defeats, or destroys an adversarial capability.”
Capt. Karrey Sanders, commanding officer of the USS Portland, said:
“By conducting advanced at sea tests against UAVs and small craft, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats.”
“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,” added Sanders.
“With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy.”