The U.S. Navy conducted a demonstration test promising ship combat laser LWSD Mk.2 Mod.0 (Laser Weapon System Demonstrator, demonstrator combat laser system). According to the message of the U.S. Navy, the tests were held on may 16, 2020 and was deemed successful. Using combat laser military shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle.
The main advantage of laser weapons the U.S. military is considered “unlimited” ammunition — emitting unit can shoot until then, until you cease to receive energy from the power source. It is also assumed that the lasers can provide relatively cheap and reliable at the same time protect ships from surface boats, light aircraft and drones.
During tests combat laser LWSD was installed on the landing ship-dock “Portland” type “San Antonio”, assigned to the Pacific fleet of the U.S. Navy. The installation was developed by the American company Northrop Grumman. Other details about the trials were not disclosed.
The development of a demonstrator laser combat LWSD was done by order of the U.S. Navy in 2015. The military installation has a control post located in the add-in “Portland” and a combat module based on solid state laser. The plant capacity is 150 kilowatts. The program, under which it has been designed implies a further increase of capacity up to 300, 500 and 1000 kilowatt.
Currently in pilot operation, the US Navy is one military laser system — LaWS. It was mounted on the landing ship-dock “Ponce” type “Austin”, and in 2018 it is mounted on the landing ship “Portland”.
LaWS responsible for the defeat of the drones, as well as blinding electro-optical and infrared systems for surveillance and targeting. The basis of the installation capacity is 33 kW solid-state laser.
In 2018, the US Navy command ordered the American company Lockheed Martin is developing a new multi-function combat laser systems for destroyers of the “Arleigh Burke”. The new system will be able to perform three functions: to hit small boats and unmanned aerial vehicles, to monitor and blind optical systems of the enemy.