U.S. Navy successfully tests first laser gun for downing military aircraft
In mid-May, the U.S. Navy tested high-energy laser weapons in combat conditions. As a result, one aircraft was “successfully disabled.” Experts consider this experiment a big step in the arms industry and a new milestone in US defense.
Testing the latest solid-state laser technology called The Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) took place on May 16th in the Pacific Ocean. The exact location of the exercises is not disclosed.
The developers of this weapon were the Office of Naval Research.
"By conducting advanced at-sea tests against UAVs and small crafts, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats," said Captain Karrey Sanders, the commanding officer of USS Portland.
According to unofficial data, the development of this technology began more than 60 years ago and today is the second most capable laser weapon in the world along with the Russian military complex “Peresvet”.
The exact characteristics and the amount of energy consumed are not known for certain, but according to the approximate values, this weapon is single-shot due to its extremely large energy consumption, therefore, it will not be used in real combat.
"The Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the Navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems," Mr Sanders said, according to ABC News. "With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy."
The U.S. Navy and the Office of Naval Research have not yet announced the total cost of development and the approximate dates for the introduction of such equipment in the country's defense.