Navy Unveils New Laser Weapon In Gulf Of Aden

(Photo by Gary C. Knapp/Getty Images)

Chris Bertman Contributor
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The U.S. Navy conducted a successful test of a new laser weapon while sailing in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday.

Amphibious transport dock ship U.S.S. Portland destroyed a floating target as it tested Solid State Laser – Technology Maturation Laser Weapons System Demonstrator, according to the Navy’s press release. The Navy tested the laser in May of 2020 when it successfully took down a flying drone, The Associated Press (AP) reported. (RELATED: US Navy Launches Ship Named After Harvey Milk)

The Navy unveiled the new laser in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen, which separates East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, has been battling Saudi-led forces since it was captured by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in 2014.

The conflict reached a stalemate in March of 2015, though it has reportedly become the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, with a death toll estimated at 110,000. The laser weapon system could be used to counter target Houthi deployed drone boats in the Red Sea, according to the AP.

The Navy recently commissioned its 69th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, named after former Democratic Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, according to a Defense Department announcement. The ship’s commissioning coincided with the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor during the Remembrance Commemoration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham on Dec. 7.