The US Navy is apparently one step closer to becoming an actual cartoon supervillain, according to the latest statement from the US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs. The announcement confirms that Navy Warship USS Portland “successfully disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle … with a Solid State Laser”.
In a test held on May 16, USS Portland utilised the new weapons technology to take down a drone, in the first at-sea demonstration. “By conducting advanced at sea tests against UAVs and small crafts, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats,” said Capt. Karrey Sanders, commanding officer of Portland.
Accompanying the statement was an official video of the US Navy laser in action and it is some pretty outrageous viewing. Bathed in red light, we see the USS Portland emerge on the water before quickly blasting what appears to be a solid stream of ethereal light at a small aircraft. The laser completely obliterates the drone while it is still in the air and moving at speed, confirming that the US Navy is definitely not to be messed with.
According to the US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, the Navy has been developing directed-energy weapons to include lasers since the 1960s. As warfare moves into more unmanned territory, the defence force has apparently ramped up its programs. “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 Sanders. “With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy.”
Sure, the new US Navy laser weapon is a big step forward for modern warfare and possibly a step closer to our mutually-assured destruction, but we can’t help but think, it’d be a lot cooler attached to a shark.