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U.S. Navy Announces 2014 Laser Deployment Plans

April 8, 2013
George I. Seffers
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Citing a series of technological breakthroughs, Navy leaders announced plans April 8 to deploy for the first time a solid-state laser aboard a ship in fiscal year 2014. The Office of Naval Research released a video of the Laser Weapon System (LaWS), a technology demonstrator built by the Naval Sea Systems Command. LaWS uses commercial fiber solid state lasers and can be directed onto targets from the radar track obtained from a MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon system or other targeting source. Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research, described directed energy initiatives, especially the solid-state laser as “among our highest priority science and technology programs,” adding that the solid-state laser program is "central to our commitment to quickly deliver advanced capabilities to forward-deployed forces.” 

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