U.S. successfully tests laser weapon that can destroy aircraft mid-flight
May 27, 2020 - A U.S. Navy warship has successfully tested a new high-energy laser weapon that can destroy aircraft and drones in mid-flight, the Navy’s Pacific Fleet said.
Images and videos provided by the U.S. Navy show the amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland executing the first-of-its-kind at-sea test of a “high-energy class solid-state laser” to disable an aerial drone aircraft.
The images show the laser emanating from the deck of the warship. Short video clips show what appears to be the drone burning, according to CNN.
The U.S. Navy did not give a specific location of the laser weapons system demonstrator (LWSD) test, saying only that it occurred in the Pacific Ocean on May 16.
The power of the weapon was not disclosed, but a 2018 report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies said it was expected to be a 150-kilowatt laser.
The U.S. Navy says lasers, which it calls directed energy weapons (DEW), can be an effective defence against drones or armed small boats.
Graphic News Standards