The Office of Naval Research “will perform a shipboard test of a 150 kilowatt laser weapon system in the near future,” said [vice chief of naval operations] Adm. Bill Moran during a speech at Booz Allen Hamilton’s Directed Energy Summit, which was held in Washington, D.C.
The Navy’s 30-kilowatt laser weapon is currently onboard the USS Ponce. The system, which has been used operationally in the Persian Gulf, offers military leaders precision accuracy at a low cost, Moran said.
The laser weapon system, or LaWs, “has an extremely low-cost per engagement ratio,” he said. “We’re spending pennies on the dollars … every time we use that capability.”
Lasers are a part of every service’s plan for the future. The Army plans to have lasers in development by 2023, with tests of lasers carried by attack helicopters this summer. The Air Force wants lasers on large planes by 2022, and plans to use lasers sooner than that to clear runways of landmines. The Marine Corps, together with the Navy, is developing truck-mounted lasers, to protect troops.
The Navy will soon deploy a new laser gun that will be 100 to 150 kw instead of the 30 kw system they are currently testing. That weapon will go out to sea for a demonstration by FY 2018.
Here is a US Navy presentation on the progress in their development of higher power combat lasers.
SOURCES- Office of Naval Research, Popular Science