A prototype of the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) installed on the destroyer USS Dewey is believed to have cost up to $32m (£21m).The US Navy has unveiled its latest weapon – a laser cannon capable of shooting down drones and disabling vessels. A prototype of the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) installed on the destroyer USS Dewey is believed to have cost up to $32m (£21m) to make. However, it runs on electricity and costs as little as $1 (66p) to fire – a fraction of the cost of conventional weaponery. “The future is here,” said Peter Morrison of the Office of Naval Research.
Though drones may be getting most of the attention these days, the US Navy is getting set to deploy its first solid-state laser weapon aboard the USS Ponce in what it calls an “at-sea demonstration,” a technology that could revolutionize global warfare.
The new Laser Weapon System (LaWS) is said to have successfully destroyed at least one test drone, according to the US Navy, and its deployment aboard the Ponce, a ship that has come to be known as a floating forward staging base, suggests government confidence in the technology.
Video released by the Navy depicts the laser battery mounted aboard the USS Dewey, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, successfully targeting a moving drone, and engulfing it in flames.