The U.S. Navy is preparing to launch a ship-mounted laser built to launch infrared energy at adversaries’ small boats and unmanned aerial vehicles.
In 2014, the Navy plans to install the solid-state laser prototype on the fantail of the USS Ponce, which will be deployed to the 5th fleet region in the Middle East for operations, Fox News reports.
The laser is intended to target small armored boats from Iran that reportedly harass U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, Justin Fishel writes.
“Its weapon round costs about $1 to shoot,” said Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of Naval Research.
According to Fox, the weapon is also intended for non-lethal functions such as sending warning signals to other vessels.
Navy officials described the range of the weapon as a “close in“ system, according Fox News.