The US Navy’s amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) has successfully tested a laser weapon system.

Under the demonstration, USS Portland disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a Solid State Laser – Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) MK 2 MOD 0.

Developed by the Office of Naval Research, LWSD is a laser weapon system demonstrator.

Northrop Grumman developed the laser system. NSWC Dahlgren and Port Hueneme were responsible for full system and ship integration and testing.

USS Portland commanding officer captain Karrey Sanders said: “By conducting advanced at sea tests against UAVs and small craft, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State LWSD against potential threats.”

Since 1960s, directed-energy weapons (DEWs) have been undergoing constant development to feature lasers.

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During missions, navy ships and vessels, including assets such as UAVs, armed small boats, and adversary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, are exposed to attack from adversaries.

Capable of converting energy from one form to another, DEWs are electromagnetic systems that cause physical damage to the enemy target, completely destroying its capability.

The development of LWSD, under the upgradation of DEWs, will offer immediate warfighter benefits.

It will also empower troops with increased decision space and response options during the mission in the battlefield.

Sanders added: “The Solid State LWSD is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems.

“With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the navy.”