In the sometimes hostile waters of the Persian Gulf is the U.S. Navy and now world’s first active laser weapon. The LAWS–an acronym for Laser Active Weapons System–is not science fiction. It is deployed on the USS Ponce, amphibious transport ship… ready to be fired at targets today and every day by Captain Christopher Wells and his crew.
Exclusive access was given to CNN for a live fire test of the laser. Captain Well’s stated, “That it’s more precise than a bullet and it is a very versatile weapon and it can be used against a variety of targets.”
LAWS begins with an advantage that no other weapon ever invented or comes even close to matching. The laser moves at the speed of light, 50,000 times the speed of an incoming ICBM and throws massive amounts of protons at an incoming object. This is effective because neither protons nor neutrons are affected by wind.
CNN witnessed the power of the laser first hand. The Ponce crew launches the target, an incoming drone aircraft. Immediately the weapons team zero’s in on it’s target. Drones are used because they are used by Iran, North Korea, China, Russia and other adversaries.
The drones wing lights up to a temperature of thousands of degrees, lethally damaging the aircraft and sending it hurling down to the sea. The laser is effective because it’s an invisible and silent killer.
It’s also remarkably precise, which helps minimize collateral damage. All this $40 Million system needs to operate is a supply of electricity and a small crew of only 3. No multi-million dollar missile and no ammunition at all. The cost per use in only about $1 a shot.
Today the laser is intended primarily to disable aircraft and small boats. It is designed with the intent to be able to counter both airborne and surface based threats and it’s been able to prove itself over that last 3 years to be incredibly effective at that.
Watch the video above and leave a comment.
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Former Navy SEAL Team 6 Member Mark Owen Gets Down and Dirty at Fire Range