The Navy’s ship-deployed laser we talked about last month has been deployed on the USS Ponce — and tested, too. And it works:
The Navy announced that it had deployed and fired a laser weapon this fall aboard a warship in the Persian Gulf. During a series of test shots, the laser hit and destroyed targets mounted atop a small boat, blasted a six-foot drone from the sky, and destroyed other moving targets.
“This is the first time in recorded history that a directed energy weapons system has ever deployed on anything,” Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research, told reporters at the Pentagon. “A lot of people talk about it—we decided to go do it.”
It was built cheap, using lots of COTS parts — a rare instance of our procurement system working as advertised.