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Navy Deploys Ship-Based Prototype Laser Weapon in Persian Gulf

Navy Laser Weapon SystemU.S. Navy amphibious transport ship that patrols the Persian Gulf has been carrying a prototype laser weapon that works to counter drones, small vessels and other enemy targets since its August deployment to the region, Bloomberg reported Saturday.

Tony Capaccio writes that the Laser Weapon System on USS Ponce was deployed as part of the Navy’s operations in the region.

LaWS is currently undergoing a series of tests in the operational environment of the Persian Gulf.

The Naval Sea Systems Command built the $40 million prototype over seven years with support from L-3 Communications and the Electro Optics Center at Penn State University, the report said.

Capaccio reports that LaWS works to emit laser beams at different strengths that range from warning flashes to lethal beams.

He writes that the Navy expects the findings from this one-year at-sea deployment to shape work from BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon on a more powerful laser weapon by 2021.

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