How the US Navy will defeat the Iranian swarm tactics

In the 1980s, the Navy began bringing U.S. Army attack helicopters aboard some of its ships in the Persian Gulf. The Army copters' missiles and guns were ideal for blasting Iranian boats. In 1988, U.S. and Iranian forces fought a brief, violent skirmish that damaged or destroyed several Iranian vessels.

The U.S. fleet began adding Army-style missiles to its own helicopters. And in 2012, the sailing branch went a step further when it finally fielded a custom-made guided rocket of its own that is specifically optimized for defeating swarms of boats. The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System is a 2.75-inch-diameter rocket with a laser seeker.

Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, as well as other aircraft, can carry pods, with each containing up to seven of the rockets. The copter shines a laser on enemy boats, or other targets, then fires. Each APKWS rocket heads for a different boat, in essence swarming the swarm with tiny lethal munitions.

The guided-rocket system has a 95-percent hit rate, according to the military. "This will give the helicopters a potent capability against swarming fast inshore attack craft," noted Jane's, a defense trade publication.

And that's not all. In 2014, the U.S. Navy fitted a new, large laser gun to the amphibious ship USS Ponce, which is permanently stationed in the Persian Gulf, where it acts as an at-sea base for helicopters, small boats and special operations forces. Big, slow and otherwise lightly armed, Ponce was uniquely vulnerable to the guard corps boat swarms.

The so-called Laser Weapon System , aimed by an operator holding a video-game-style controller, shoots a 30-kilowatt laser over a distance of several miles. As LaWS doesn't fire conventional missiles or bullets, instead drawing power from a generator, it essentially never runs out of ammunition. Perfect for wiping out a swarm.
The US should give the Iranians an ultimatum to stop the harassment or face the consequences.  It is better to do it now than to wait for them to develop their missile systems and nukes.


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