Navy successfully uses Northrop lasers aboard ship – The Daily Breeze

 

The Office of Naval Research successfully disabled a small target vessel using a solid-state, high-energy laser (HEL) mounted on the deck of the Navy's self-defense test ship, the former USS Paul Foster (DD 964). (U.S. Navy photo)

 

The U.S. Navy used a laser developed in Redondo Beach by Northrop Grumman Corp. to demonstrate how the weapon can defend a ship against small boats, the company and military branch said Friday.

The open ocean tests were conducted between October of last year and this month at the Pacific Ocean Test Range near San Nicolas Island off the Central California coast.

The at-sea tests “validated the potential to provide advanced self-defense” that ships can use to keep threatening small boats at a “safe distance,” the Navy said in a statement.

The test results show that the technologies underpinning the laser “are mature enough to begin a formal weapon system development program,” Steve Hixson, vice president of space and directed energy systems at Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector in Redondo Beach, said in a statement.

“Solid-state laser weapons are ready to transition to the fleet,” Hixson said.

via Navy successfully uses Northrop lasers aboard ship – The Daily Breeze.

So, they’re finally moving to active deployment of these oh so interesting weapons. I wonder how well they work when the Somalian pirates pull out a mirror in self defense… And IF, as I suspect, the mirror can thwart them, I wonder how long before we start seeing boats/ships covered in fully reflective surfaces. You just have to love weapons races.

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