The US Navy shoot down a cruise missile with a new tech laser
In February, the Layered Laser Defence (LLD) system, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, was tested. Like the previous LaWS system, it is another demonstration of technology to counter drones and fast-attack boats. After engaging a target, its high-resolution telescope can track airborne threats and conduct battle damage assessments.
During a recent Navy test at the United States Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the drone was shot down. The LLD tracked or shot down multiple targets during a recent test at White Sands, including unmanned fixed-wing drones, quadcopters, and high-speed drones that simulate subsonic cruise missiles.
The Navy is developing laser weapons due to their precision, speed, and unlimited ammunition without the risk of storing propellants and explosives on board. Modern high-power lasers are powered by the ship's electrical system, making them safer than traditional cannons and guns. They can run for as long as a vessel has power, and the main "cost per round" is the fuel used to power the generators.
The Navy says there are no plans to deploy the LLD, but it does provide some insight into the future of laser weapons. According to the Navy, it is smaller, more powerful, and more efficient than previous systems, and it incorporates artificial intelligence to improve tracking and targeting.