April 12, 2011
U.S. Navy army ships may soon come out with lasers systemsby Shalu Pillai
For the first time ever, laser beams were flashed across to various targets off the central California coast. This was part of a series of successful solid-state laser defense firing tests by Northrop Grumman and the Office of Naval Research aboard the decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer USS Paul F. Foster. The Maritime Laser Demonstrator zapped laser beams at targets at the Pacific Ocean Test Range, including land-based targets and remotely driven small boats that travelled at various speeds. This is the first system to be integrated with a Navy ship’s radar and navigation system, ensuring a much higher level of accuracy. According to Northrop Grumman, the next step would be the engineering, manufacturing, and development. The Navy plans to outfit up to eight classes of ships in the fleet with this next-generation weapon, but won’t be replacing the traditional weapons systems anytime soon.
The project has been collaborated by the U.S. Navy with the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s High Energy Joint Technology Office and the Army’s Joint High Powered Solid State Laser program. Take a look at the video below at how quick it takes for a laser to destroy a small boat.