This past summer, the US Navy installed its new 30 kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) aboard USS Ponce in connection with a $40 million research and development project.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) just released the video of the Navy testing the unique laser weapon on one its naval bases in the Persian Gulf.
In the video, you can clearly see the LaWS system launch a rocket propelled grenade that blows out the engine of a rigid hull inflatable boat. A solid result for the first test!
ONR spokesman Matthew Klunder says the Laser Weapon System is more than a weapon because it has the ability to detect objects at “tactically significant ranges”, making it a top of the line surveillance device.
Currently, the Navy wants to keep LaWS onboard Ponce for a year while looking for other ships to potentially install more Laser Weapon Systems on.
In 2016 or 2017, ONR hopes to be testing a 100 to 150 kilowatt version of this highly-advanced laser weapon.