US Navy hopes to deploy laser weapons on several ships by 2019

Real Clear Defense:
U.S. Navy on the Cutting Edge of Directed Energy Weapons

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There’s a 30-kilowatt laser on USS PONCE right now.

It’s in the Arabian Gulf and it works.

It works very well.

As you know, lasers can be used for communications. They can be used for ISR.

They can obviously be used for non-kinetic effects.

In order to have the higher-end kinetic effect, you have to have the space for the weight of the laser itself, the power for it, and then the cooling-wherever the source.

Obviously, with a ship in the water, you have an unlimited source of cooling water.

Then, in order to have a very, very deep magazine for a laser shot, you either have to have a constant source of fairly high electrical power, or you have to have a very large battery.

We are not waiting until we have what many see as the ultimate goal, a one megawatt laser weapon; we would like to build capability incrementally.

Over time we will be able to field higher and higher power laser weapons.
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There is much more.

One of the advantages of the laser weapons is that they are much cheaper to operate than the current missile defense system which costs about $3 million a shot.  They are already being used to shoot down drones in the Middle East.

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