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Report: Navy Introduces Laser Weapon Tech Program Under Rapid Prototyping Initiative

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The U.S. Navy has launched an effort to pursue laser weapons integration as part of the service branch’s Rapid Prototyping, Experimentation and Demonstration project, USNI News reported Wednesday.

Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems, said at the 2017 Directed Energy Summit that the Surface Navy Laser Weapons System program seeks to increase laser weapons’ power, beam quality and capacity to modularize, Megan Eckstein wrote.

Eckstein reported the program also explores ways to integrate available laser weapons into the Aegis Combat System.

“What we’d like to do is be able to integrate [laser weapons] so that when you have an effect in competition, in war, in a maritime environment, you know how to put those together with the kinetic systems we already have in the field,” Manazir told audience at the summit.

He added the Navy seeks to deploy new technologies in the field, mitigate risks and manage costs through the RPED initiative.

Rear Adm. Jon Hill, deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency, said MDA can work with the Navy on prototyping efforts for emerging technologies such as directed.

Hill told USNI News that MDA and the Navy are currently conducting technical exchanges to identify ways to collaborate.

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