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Office of Naval Research

Video: US navy tests high-energy laser

First teat of laser beam sets fire to another boat, disabling the vessel.

THE OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH (ONR) in the US has successfully tested a new high-energy laser weapon on board a naval vessel off the Californian coast.

In a statement, the organisation said the test proves that the laser could be used as an advanced form of self-defence against small vessels.

Programme officer for ONR Peter Morrison said that this was the first time such a powerful laser was put on a navy ship and used on a target while at sea.

He said that the new weapon would provide greater options for the naval vessel when encountering threats from small boats.

The head of naval research, Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, agreed with Morrison’s view and said the new technology would not replace existing weapons, but “opens up a new level of deterrence into scalable options for the commander”.

Carr added that there was still much work to be done on ensuring the use of directed energy on warships was safe and efficient.

Watch video footage of the laser test:

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