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Video: The Navy has a beastly laser canon that can destroy drones in the blink of an eye

Published Dec 12th, 2014 3:30PM EST
U.S. Navy Laser Canon Video
Image: Screenshot | YouTube

The U.S. Navy has a brand new futuristic weapon it can use to take out a variety of targets, including drones: A 30 kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) that’s already been designated as an “operational asset” in the Persian Gulf.

FROM EARLIER: Video: Watch the Navy’s futuristic railgun blow stuff up

The special laser canon has been in development for several years, Business Insider reports, and this year it has been installed on the USS Ponce, part of a $40 million research and development project.

The LaWS can quickly target flying objects such as drones and rocket-propelled grenades as well as static targets, as seen in the video embedded below.

“We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality,” Rear Admiral Matthew L. Klunder said. “At less than a dollar per shot, there’s no question about the value LaWS provides.”

USS Ponce has received permission from U.S. Central Command to use the weapon for defensive operations.

The Navy wants to further bump up the laser’s power and is working on 50kW and 100kW versions.

And yes, it looks like LaWS operators need a console-like controller to operate the machinery, as seen below.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.