Navy Unveils World's First Active Laser Weapon In Persian Gulf

Three months ago we introduced China's "silent hunter" experimental laser gun, and now, as CNN reports, in the waters of the Persian Gulf looms the US Navy's first - in fact, the world's first - active laser weapon.

The LaWS, an acronym for Laser Weapons System, is not science fiction. It is not experimental. It is deployed on board the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship, ready to be fired at targets today and every day by Capt. Christopher Wells and his crew.

CNN was granted exclusive access to a live-fire test of the laser.

For the test, the USS Ponce crew launched the target -- a drone aircraft. Immediately, the weapons team zeroed in.

 

"We don't have to lead a target," Hughes explained. "We're doing that engagement at the speed of light so it really is a point and shoot -- we see it, we focus on it, and we can negate that target."

 

In an instant, the drone's wing lit up, heated to a temperature of thousands of degrees, lethally damaging the aircraft and sending it hurtling down to the sea. The strike comes silently and invisibly.

"It is more precise than a bullet," Wells told CNN.

 

"It's not a niche weapon system like some other weapons that we have throughout the military where it's only good against air contacts, or it's only good against surface targets, or it's only good against, you know, ground-based targets -- in this case this is a very versatile weapon, it can be used against a variety of targets."

LaWS begins with an advantage no other weapon ever invented comes even close to matching. It moves, by definition, at the speed of light. For comparison, that is 50,000 times the speed of an incoming ICBM.

"It is throwing massive amounts of photons at an incoming object," said Lt. Cale Hughes, laser weapons system officer.

 

"We don't worry about wind, we don't worry about range, we don't worry about anything else. We're able to engage the targets at the speed of light."

All the $40 million system needs to operate is a supply of electricity, which is derived from its own small generator, and has a crew of three. No multi-million-dollar missile, no ammunition at all.

The cost per use? "It's about a dollar a shot," said Hughes.

President Trump's military budget problems solved?

Comments

Winston Churchill Looney Tue, 07/18/2017 - 18:40 Permalink

Shirley it would be cheaper just to buy every enemy a TESLA.The Russians avoided developing lasers and went straight to torsion field generators.Wiki tries to debunk that theory, but fails to  explainy the reasons why they  have published dozens opapers on the subject.It would make conventional EW systems look like bringing a penknife tothe battle of Stalingrad.That would include this laser. 

In reply to by Looney

Mr 9x19 eatthebanksters Wed, 07/19/2017 - 06:24 Permalink

do you see the irony of a country, the usa, making  the mess in mid west to break  israel surrounders and keep geo strategic acces to reel barbarian energy such oil & nat gas, equipping an electric weapon on a boat than can only be shot 1000 per year because of the cost of the electrical system behind it making it as shitty as it's not energy efficient nor portable otherwise ? and you want to make a world of EV, in an actual declining multi power source, fully green world ?when you see chevy expect to sell 200km autonomy 35000 usd bolt, you can  expect from those guy to trigger rockets launch by slingshots... this world is fubar.

In reply to by eatthebanksters

New_Meat wee-weed up Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:48 Permalink

this, ^^^, is a free-market opportunity.Wonderin' which state or Commonwealth this Made In The USA device is sponsoring?Gives a new meaning to "light-'em up!"- Ned{now, the dick-measuring contest takes on a new meaning.  "Take that DPRK"}{{Ponce is a gator, a good-gator, nice Ponce.  I'm a-wonderin' which shooters are carrying?  This is no secret among PLAN and others, you can't do this level of fielding without a shit-pot of e-mail, SIPPERNET notwithstanding.}}

In reply to by wee-weed up

Mr 9x19 Maxter Wed, 07/19/2017 - 06:28 Permalink

bingo, laser is direct aiming, object based is ballisic related , you cannot make long range shot with lasers, it goes staight line except from space... heheeverything aiming you with a laser, can be aimed back same way, with balistics, it's way more complicated. but it is a thing they have taken in consideration when they built it. i guess.... like the 200km autonomy of an EV.

In reply to by Maxter

Trogdor BocceBaal Tue, 07/18/2017 - 20:49 Permalink

I suppose that would depend on how long they could stay focused on the target.  Focusing on a relatively slow-moving drone that is running slose to parallel to the ship?  No problem.  Focusing on a ship-to-ship or land-to-sea missile coming directly at you at several hundred to several thousand miles per hour - with a lot less frontal area  - possibly through bad weather - and it becomes a bit more challenging. I'm not saying they can't make it work ... but I'm just wondering if we're seeing another F-35 fiasco in the making.  I know I wouldn't want to bet my life on it.  I'd take a Phalanx CIWS (Sea-Whiz) over that thing ... at least until it's proven ;) 

In reply to by BocceBaal

BrownCoat Maxter Tue, 07/18/2017 - 19:22 Permalink

I'm no expert, but...The LaWS has a targeting component. Don't point it at a mirror!From Wikipedia: "[LaWS] has functioned well against adverse weather, able to work in high humidity and after a dust storm."It did not specifically say rain, cloud occlusion or dust. ('After a dust storm' means most of the dust cleared.) Obviously, the military wants to keep the details secret. (Except the Chinese hackers probably already have the Navy's proprietary software).Keep in mind, the StarWars bluff helped end the Cold War.

In reply to by Maxter

The Wizard Mr. Universe Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:47 Permalink

Don't you guys think you can replace the petrodollar without us (Deep State) controlling it.http://www.teslasociety.com/deathray.htm Lost Tesla Papers about the "Death Rays"

Nikola Tesla died on January 7th, 1943 in Hotel New Yorker, in Manhattan, in room 3327 on the 33rd floor of the hotel. Immediately after Tesla’s death, Tesla scientific papers vanished from his hotel room in Hotel New Yorker. Tesla papers were never found. Tesla papers contained scientific data and information about “Death Rays”, which could be used for military purposes. In 1947 the Military Intelligence service identified the writings about the particle-beam contained in Tesla’s scientific papers as “extremely important.” Military intelligence services of the USA, Germany and USSR were vitally interested in Tesla’s “Death Rays”.  

 

In reply to by Mr. Universe

Sudden Debt tmosley Tue, 07/18/2017 - 19:07 Permalink

Hell no.supercapcitors deliver an usable power band and you'd need to connect thousands in series which would make it so unstable that no way they could keep it stable, even if you only connect 3 to 4 ultracapacitors of 70 vdc it would burn half your systems, let alone if you connect 100. you'd need to repair these things with every shot as half of them would burn out.So no mister smarty pants, it's not a super taser as no electrical system can work with so many unstable components. 

In reply to by tmosley

MaxMax Sudden Debt Tue, 07/18/2017 - 19:59 Permalink

I once saw an electromagnetic rail gun.  It was at a research institute. They had it pointed into the ground because it was too close to civilian areas.  There were four 30 foot high capacitors about 6 feet in diameter.  They had another name for the capacitors, but that is basically what they were.  It could fire an aluminum shell right through 6 inches of armor grade steel.  Oh, and they did have a small nuclear reactor a few buildings over.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

Mr 9x19 Sudden Debt Wed, 07/19/2017 - 06:36 Permalink

now you understand the low limit of shot allowed per year, and why it is on a boat...cooling, and portability. it is a sci-fi whim of a bunch of crazy pentagon war mongerers.it is ineficient as can be an f35 when it's rainny day. the west has lost the tech war for decades, we just do not know it yet.

In reply to by Sudden Debt