Marine Corps to Test New Military Ground-Based Laser Weapon

Jeff Brody

The U.S. Marine Corps received the first laser weapon approved by the Department of Defense for ground operations. Marines will test and evaluate the Compact Laser Weapons System that works to counter unmanned aerial systems. The service said Wednesday DoD plans to deploy CLaWS across the military as a component to a larger system used to counter drones.

“We’re providing CLaWS to Marines as a rapid prototype for evaluation,” said Don Kelley, program manager for ground based air defense at Program Executive Officer Land Systems. “Depending on the results, CLaWS could become part of a larger capability set.”

Lt. Col. Ho Lee, a product manager at PEO Land Systems, said they used commercial technologies and resources across DoD to build CLaWS. CLaWS is in prototype stage and developers plan to integrate the technology with more fixed-site and mobile C-UAS defeat capabilities. The Marine Corps is expected to begin testing the technology over the coming months.  

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