Laser Weapon System ( LaWS ) Shooting Down Drone Aircraft 2013 US Navy, USS Dewey

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“The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) (shown here conducting an operational test) in San Diego, Calif., is a technology demonstrator built by the Naval Sea Systems Command from commercial fiber solid state lasers, utilizing combination methods developed at the Naval Research Laboratory. LaWS can be directed onto targets from the radar track obtained from a MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon system or other targeting source. The Office of Naval Research’s Solid State Laser (SSL) portfolio includes LaWS development and upgrades providing a quick reaction capability for the fleet with an affordable SSL weapon prototype. This capability provides Navy ships a method for Sailors to easily defeat small boat threats and aerial targets without using bullets. (U.S. Navy video by Office of Naval Research/ Released)” Silent.

Public domain film from the United States Navy, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.

The Laser Weapon System or LaWS is a directed-energy weapon developed by the United States Navy. The weapon is to be installed on the USS Ponce for field testing in late 2013 or early 2014.

In 2010 Kratos Defense & Security Solutions was awarded an $11 million dollar contract to develop LaWS in support of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) for the U.S. Navy’s Directed Energy and Electric Weapon Systems (DE&EWS) program. The May 2012 NSWC test used a CIWS control system to enable the beam director to track the UAV target.

The intended use of the LaWS is ship-defense against drones or small-boat attackers (whether suicidal or not); the LaWS at present is not designed to engage incoming missiles, large aircraft, ships, or submerged objects. LaWS utilizes a solid-state infrared beam which can be tuned to high output to destroy the target or low output to warn or cripple the sensors of a target. Among the advantages of this device versus projectile weapons is the low cost per shot, as each firing of the weapon requires only the minimal cost of generating the energetic pulse; by contrast, projectile weapons must be designed, handled, transported, take up storage space, and require maintenance…

A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term “laser” originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers differ from other sources of light because they emit light coherently. Its spatial coherence allows a laser to be focused to a tight spot, and this enables applications like laser cutting and laser lithography. Its spatial coherence also keeps a laser beam collimated over long distances, and this enables laser pointers to work. Laser also have high temporal coherence which allows them to have a very narrow spectrum, i.e., they only emit a single color of light. Their temporal coherence also allows them to emit pulses of light that only last a femtosecond.

Lasers have many important applications. They are used in common consumer devices such as DVD players, laser printers, and barcode scanners. They are used in medicine for laser surgery and various skin treatments, and in industry for cutting and welding materials. They are used in military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed. Laser lighting displays use laser light as an entertainment medium. Lasers also have many important applications in scientific research…

USS Dewey (DDG-105) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy. Dewey is the third Navy ship named after Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, hero of the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. The ship is part of Destroyer Squadron 21 of Carrier Strike Group Three which is currently headed by the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74).

She was authorized on 13 September 2002 and was built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. The keel was laid down on 4 October 2006 at the company’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

On 26 January 2008, Dewey was christened in a ceremony in Pascagoula, by Deborah Mullen, the wife of Admiral Mike Mullen. Dewey was commissioned in Seal Beach, California on 6 March 2010, as the 55th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. This is the first ship commissioning for the City of Seal Beach.

As of 8 April 2013, the Dewey has been outfitted with the Laser Weapon System (LaWS). This is an experimental weapon which can be used to disable small boats and drones.