Navy Lasers Find Home on Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers

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In recent Navy News, it has been reported that lasers will make Ford-class aircraft carriers their home on the sea. Military news reports about Navy lasers stated that the U.S. Navy will outfit new Ford-class aircraft carriers with a wide range of laser weapons. Not only will these Navy lasers be able to take out incoming missles, but Navy officials also say they will provide aircraft carriers with offensive weapons as well. This weapons technology is just one part of the Navy’s future which also includes electromagnetic railguns, stealth warships and turning seawater into fuel.

The reason United States Navy officials chose the Ford-class aircraft carriers is becauses Navy laser weapon technology requires a large amount of on-board, transportable electrical power. And according to Rear Adm. Thomas Moore, Program Executive Officer, Carriers, “the Ford-class carriers are built with three times the electrical power generating capacity compared to Nimitz-class carriers.”

The Future with Navy Lasers

Are Navy lasers the future of Naval weapons? With this weapons technology’s effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility and affordability; Navy lasers may replace missile systems in the future.

“Lasers need to get up to about 300 kilowatts to start making them effective. The higher the power you get the more you can accomplish. I think there will be a combination of lasers and rail guns in the future. I do think at some point, lasers could replace some existing missile systems. Lasers will provide an overall higher rate of annihilation,” Moore said.

Navy officials explained that the U.S. Navy LaWS Laser Weapon System is designed to destroy threats for about $59-cents per shot. This cost compares to the hundreds of thousands or millions needed to fire an interceptor missile such as the Standard Missile-2.

When discussing testing Navy lasers on the USS Ponce, Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, chief of naval research said, “Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations. We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality.”

Navy Lasers Video

Here is a Navy video which we shared in a previous BuiltUSA story about the U.S. Navy LaWS Laser Weapon System being tested aboard the USS Ponce. The successful test featured the laser technology taking out a test boat and test drone with “near-instantaneous lethality.” This Navy video shared a historic moment not only because the laser weapon testing was successful, but because it also worked seamlessly with existing defense systems aboard a deployed U.S. Navy ship.

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