Navy Wants Directed Energy Weapons Early Deployment for Distributed Capability

Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) on the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce.

Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) on the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce.

August 28, 2017 | Source: Second Line of Defense, sldinfo.com, 17 July 2017, Robin Laird

In the United States, the US Navy is the cutting edge service with regard to developing and deploying directed energy weapons technology. In part this is because ships have enough power to generate the energy necessary to operate current and next generation DE technologies. A laser has been deployed for some time onboard the USS Ponce, a retired MSC ship, and has been in operations downing drones in the Middle East. The CNO has made it clear that this is a technology which will be deployed on ships in the near future. The US Navy has scaled down the power generation requirements for the first generation deployments so that already available DE technologies can be deployed by 2019 onboard surface ships. This means that we will see DE coming to the fleet in the next couple of years.