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Navy Likely to Be First Service to Field Laser Weapons

The Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf on Nov. 16, 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams)

The Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf on Nov. 16, 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams)

May 7, 2018 | Source: Military.Com, 22 March 2018, Oriana Pawlyk

If one service has made sufficient progress to use laser weapons in its arsenal in the next few years, it's the U.S. Navy, according to the former director of the Missile Defense Agency.

"The Navy right now is the most forward-leaning because they're the only service that has actually fielded an operational prototype weapon, the Laser Weapon System that they put on the USS Ponce," said Trey Obering, an executive vice president at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton who leads the directed energy innovation team.

Getting the laser in the hands of sailors to survey how and when they would use the LaWS was critical to making laser weapons a reality in wartime missions, Obering argued. The Air Force and Army have struggled to do so.

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