The U.S. Navy ran tests on it's new laser targeting and firing system on the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf from September to November. On Wednesday, the Navy announced that the tests were a huge success and the laser will change naval warfare forever.
The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was tested extensively on targets like small speed boats, drones, as well as slow and fast moving targets. All hit with extreme precision and destructive power.
The control for the new laser cannon seems almost like a console for a video game, but the destructive power of the weapon has been described as extremely destructive even in tough weather conditions and targets with "near-instantaneous lethality."
Even more, each use of the laser only costs a mere 59 cents per shot, rather than hundreds of dollars per projectile in conventional long-range weapons and interceptor missiles.
"Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations... With affordability a serious concern for our defense budgets, this will more effectively manage resources to ensure our Sailors and Marines are never in a fair fight," said cheif of naval research, Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder in an official statement.
The teams who worked for several months with the LaWS are so confident in its effectiveness that they believed if the USS Ponce were to face a threat at any moment, they would be able to neutralize it without any problem.
The system was designed to be able to be mounted seamlessly into exiting defense systems on ships, so the Navy is hoping to get LaWS and other prototypes on board and functional on many other vessels by 2020.
A video has been released by the Navy showing the power of the LaWS onboard the USS Ponce conducting the highly successful tests.