US Navy Ships to Deploy Lasers as Anti-Missile Defense in 2021

May 24, 2019

Sputnik – In an attempt to outflank Russian and Chinese naval tactics, the US Navy is rushing to put a laser defense system on its destroyers – first, for the purpose of improving targeting, but eventually scaling the lasers up to being weapons in themselves.

The US Navy aims to begin replacing its present anti-missile weapons systems with laser-based ones beginning in 2021 with the guided missile destroyer USS Preble. This, it hopes, will spawn a new wave of innovation that will enable the Navy to respond to advances in naval tactics by Beijing and Moscow that could overrun its existing shipboard defenses.

The Navy’s present shipboard point defense systems include the Close-in Weapon System (CIWS, pronounced “see whiz”) and the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), both of which are used as the last line of defense against incoming projectiles.

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