United States Navy said its 30 kW-class Laser Weapon System (LaWS) is operational, fully integrated in a US Navy vessel and ready for action. “This is the first time in recorded history that a directed energy weapons system has ever deployed on anything,” said head of the Office of Naval Research Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder.
“We’re not testing it any more. This is operational. It’s on a ship in the Persian Gulf,” Klunder said as reported in a US Navy publication.
“While we haven’t physically destroyed some other threat or adversaries’ vessel or aircraft, we could, if it came to self defence,” Rear Adm Klunder noted. “The reality is, it’s ready.”
US Navy described LaWS as “a cutting-edge weapon that brings significant new capabilities to America’s Sailors and Marines.” It is estimated that one shot of LaWS costs around less than a dollar.
“With affordability a serious concern for our defense budgets, this will more effectively manage resources to ensure our Sailors and Marines are never in a fair fight,” Klunder said.