U.S. Navy Deploys Laser Weapon in Persian Gulf

BY:

The U.S. Navy deployed its first laser weapon in the Persian Gulf, Bloomberg reports.

The amphibious transport ship USS Ponce has been patrolling with a prototype 30-kilowatt-classLaser Weapon System since late August, according to officials. The laser is mounted facing the bow, and can be fired in several modes — from a dazzling warning flash to a destructive beam — and can set a drone or small boat on fire.

The Ponce "provides a unique platform" to deploy the new capability "in an operationally relevant region," Vice Admiral John Miller, the 5th Fleet commander, said in an e-mailed statement. The ship is the 5th Fleet’s primary command and control afloat staging base for operations

Since 2011, the Navy has boosted its presence in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s traded oil flows. Equipped with naval mines and small vessels that practice swarming tactics to attack larger warships, Iranian officials have periodically threatened to close the waterway.

The Navy laser wasn’t specifically designed or deployed to counter Iran’s arsenal of small armed vessels, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert said in an interview earlier this year.

The laser can emit warning beams as well as stronger beams that can destroy targets. The system cost an estimated $40 million.

×
THE MORNING BEACON DAILY NEWSLETTER
MAKES IT EASIER TO STAY INFORMED
Get the news that matters most to you, delivered straight to your inbox daily.

Register today!
  • Grow your email list exponentially
  • Dramatically increase your conversion rates
  • Engage more with your audience
  • Boost your current and future profits