US Navy set to deploy first Star Wars-like laser weapon on ship this year
The US Navy is all geared up to deploy first 'Star Wars-like' laser system on ship later this year.
The navy's list of futuristic weapons also includes an electromagnetic rail gun prototype aboard a vessel that could debut within two years.
Program manager for directed energy and electric weapon systems for the Naval Sea Systems Command, Captain Mike Ziv said that the futuristic weapons fundamentally change the way they fight, Fox News reports.
Ziv said that the latest laser technology prototype to be deployed aboard the USS Ponce this summer could be operated by a single sailor.
The Laser Weapon System has been designed to target "asymmetrical threats," including aerial drones, speedboats and swarm boats, all potential threats to warships in the Persian Gulf.
The report said that the navy sees the rail guns as a replacement or supplement to the old-school guns, as these guns can fire a projectile at six or seven times the speed of sound.
However, there are shortcomings to the laser systems as lasers tend to loser their effectiveness if it's raining, dusty, or if there's turbulence in the atmosphere, while the rail gun requires vast amount of electricity to launch the projectile, the report added.
(Posted on 18-02-2014)