"The success of this effort validates the military utility of DE&EWS (Directed Energy and Electric Weapon Systems) in a maritime environment," said program manager Capt. David Kiel. "Further development and integration of increasingly more powerful lasers into Surface Navy LaWS will increase both the engagement range and target sets that can be successfully engaged and destroyed."
The US Navy is interested in laser weapons because of their speed-of-light engagement time, and the cost savings realized by minimizing the use of missiles.
Laser weapons are also becoming a reality in the air. In testing earlier this year, a modified Boeing 747 equipped with an airborne laser (ABL) shot down a ballistic missile off the central California coast.
Monday, June 07, 2010