As reported by CNN, the US Navy’s newest laser weapon is capable of hitting targets at the speed of light.
The Laser Weapons System (or “LaWS”) can easily take down the drone aircraft commonly used by North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China. Unlike other laser weapons, which are suitable only for certain types of targets, LaWS can be used against both air- and land-based targets.
LaWS is “more precise than a bullet,” says Captain Christopher Wells.
The laser operates within an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum and destroys targets by heating them to a temperature of thousands of degrees. The attack moves 50,000 times faster than the ICBM. It is silent and completely invisible.
“It really is a point and shoot,” says Lt. Cale Hughes, laser weapons system officer. “We see it, we focus on it, and we can negate that target.”
Such precision significantly minimizes collateral damage. The weapon also reflects the military’s efforts to develop more cost effective weapons.
LaWS is a $40 million system, but it runs off its own generator and requires no ammunition. It costs about $1 per shot, which is extremely cost effective when compared to other weapons – like the $1 million Tomahawk cruise missile. It takes three men to operate the laser.
LaWS is currently being used onboard the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship, whose crew tested the weapon this week in the Persian Gulf.
Author’s Note: There are only two reasons the Navy would speak to the media about this weapon:
1) To send a message to North Korea that they will never hit the United States.
2) To reassure the American public that North Korea will never hit Alaska or any other part of the United States.