Like a feature pulled straight out of the last few incarnations of Call of Duty, the US Navy is planning to install a new laser weapon system across its fleets, designed to cripple or destroy missles, drones and other designated targets.
The program, which will see the Office of Naval Research team up with American global aerospace and defense technology Northrop Grumman, will cost $53 million and see the resulting weapon platform rolled out across destroyers, cruisers and even carriers.
"This system employs multi-spectral target detection and track capabilities as well as an advanced off-axis beam director with improved fiber laser technologies to provide extended target engagement ranges," commented Dr Tom Beutner, director of the Air Warfare and Weapons branch, Office of Naval Research, in an interview with military tech site Scout Warrior.
He added: "Improvements of high power fiber lasers used to form the laser beam enable the increased power levels and extended range capabilities. Lessons learned, operating procedures, updated hardware and software derived from previous systems will be incorporated in this demonstration."
This isn't the first time the US Navy has invested in the use of laser weapon systems, either. Back in 2014, it introduced the AN/SEQ-3 Laser Weapon System or XN-1 LaWS (pictured above), which uses solid-state laser array to destroy a drone or missile outright or warn/cripple its sensors.
The XN-1 LaWS is the only one of its kind currently in deployment in the US Navy, and is currently in operation aboard the USS Ponce, a Austin-class amphibious transport dock. The US Navy plans to keep the system in place until 2017 at the earliest before the new LaWS system is rolled out.
Via: Scout Warrior