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December 16, 2021

US Navy ship USS Portland tests laser weapon system in Gulf of Aden

The demonstration was conducted on 14 December.

The US Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD 27) has conducted a high-energy laser weapon system demonstration.

The demonstration was conducted on 14 December in the Gulf of Aden.

During the testing, the Solid-State Laser – Technology Laser Weapons System Demonstrator (LWSD) Mark 2 MOD 0 was able to successfully engage a static surface training target.

The laser weapon system was onboard the USS Portland vessel.

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

USS Portland earlier tested LWSD in May last year when it disabled a small uncrewed aerial system (UAS) using LWSD MK 2 MOD 0 while operating in the Pacific Ocean.

ONR selected Portland to host the laser weapon technology in 2018.

According to US Navy, the LWSD is a next-generation follow-on to the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) that ‘afloat forward staging base USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15)’ and was tested for three years while being operational in the Middle East.

USS Portland is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group comprising amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52).

It embarked marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), which departed San Diego in August and commenced operating the following month in the US 5th Fleet region.

The US 5th Fleet’s area of operations consists of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

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