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USS Portland conducts Laser Weapon System Demonstrator Test, announces Pacific Fleet

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Washington D.C. | May 23, 2020 5:11:37 AM IST
US Pacific Fleet on Friday (local time) announced that Amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland 'successfully' disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a solid-state laser last week.

"Amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) successfully disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a Solid State Laser - Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) MK 2 MOD 0 on May 16," the Pacific Fleet said in a release.

As per the release, LWSD is a high-energy laser weapon system demonstrator developed by the Office of Naval Research and installed on Portland for an at-sea demonstration. "LWSD's operational employment on a Pacific Fleet ship is the first system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid-state laser."

It pointed out that U.S. Navy has been developing directed-energy weapons (DEWs), to include lasers, since the 1960s.

US Pacific fleet also posted a six-second video from the test on its twitter handle.

The release from Pacific Fleet defined DEWs as "electromagnetic systems capable of converting chemical or electrical energy to radiated energy and focusing it on a target, resulting in physical damage that degrades, neutralizes, defeats, or destroys an adversarial capability".

"The Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the Navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems," said Capt. Karrey Sanders, commanding officer of Portland. "With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy."

Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. While it is the third ship to bear the name 'USS Portland,' it is the first ship to be named solely after the largest city in Oregon.

The world's largest fleet command, the U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth's surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Pacific Fleet consists of approximately 200 ships/submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft, and more than 130,000 Sailors and civilians. (ANI)

 
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