Military Embedded Systems

High energy laser weapon system tested with the U.S. Navy


December 16, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

U.S. Navy photo.

MANAMA, Bahrain. Amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) conducted a high-energy laser weapon system demonstration, Dec. 14, while sailing in the Gulf of Aden, according to an announcement by the U.S. Navy.

During the demonstration, Navy officials claim that the Solid State Laser - Technology Maturation Laser Weapons System Demonstrator (LWSD) Mark 2 MOD 0 aboard Portland engaged a static surface training target. Portland previously tested the LWSD in May 2020 when it disabled a small unmanned aerial system.

Officials claim that the Office of Naval Research selected Portland to host the laser weapon technology in 2018. The LWSD is considered a next-generation follow-on to the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) that afloat forward staging base USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) tested for three years while operating in the Middle East.

According to the Navy, Portland is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group that includes amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and embarked Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The units departed San Diego in August and began operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet region in September.


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