The U.S. Navy plans to bring new high-power laser weapons and a non-lethal laser dazzler to the field later in 2019 to conduct operational testing aboard ships. The project is part of the Navy Laser Family of Systems, USNI News reported Thursday. NLFoS include the Solid State Laser-Technology Maturation system, the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, and the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy.
“We’re not fielding these in large numbers, but we’re fielding them – and it’s an important step, I think, because we get a lot of operational feedback that we would never get otherwise,” Frank Peterkin, the Navy’s senior technologist for directed energy, told USNI News. He added the testing will focus on operating, employing and maintaining the laser weapons at sea.
SSL-TM will be installed on the San Antonio class amphibious ship and USS Portland (LPD-27), while ODIN would go to an Arleigh Burke destroyer. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin is working on the HELIOS system.