US Navy tests laser weapon it says can destroy aircraft mid-flight
© Provided by ABC NEWSUSS Portland conducts a Solid State Laser test in the Pacific. (Supplied: US Navy)
A US Navy warship has successfully tested a new high-energy laser weapon that can destroy aircraft and drones mid-flight, the US Navy says.
A statement released on Friday by US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs included footage of the moment USS Portland "successfully disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle . with a Solid State Laser".
The Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) was developed by the Office of Naval Research.
The laser test was carried out on May 16 in the Pacific, the Navy said, without giving a specific location.
The post on Twitter shows the laser emanating from the deck of the warship, while a second clip shows what appears to be the drone burning.
"By conducting advanced at-sea tests against UAVs and small crafts, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats," said Captain Karrey Sanders, the commanding officer of USS Portland.
This was the first "system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid-state laser", the statement said.
The US Navy has been developing directed-energy weapons - which convert chemical or electrical energy to radiated energy focused onto a specific target - since the 1960s.
"The Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the Navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems," Mr Sanders said.
"With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy."
24. toukokuuta 2020 6:26:00