Back in Apri of 2013, there was this: Navy Leaders Announce Plans for Deploying Cost-Saving Laser Technology:
Citing a series of technological breakthroughs, Navy leaders announced plans Apr. 8 at the Sea-Air-Space exposition to deploy for the first time a solid-state laser aboard a ship in fiscal year 2014.Ponce is an interesting choice, n'cest pas?
"Our directed energy initiatives, and specifically the solid-state laser, are among our highest priority science and technology programs. The solid-state laser program is central to our commitment to quickly deliver advanced capabilities to forward-deployed forces," Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said. "This capability provides a tremendously affordable answer to the costly problem of defending against asymmetric threats, and that kind of innovative approach is crucial in a fiscally constrained environment."
The announcement to deploy the laser onboars USS Ponce (AFSB[I] 15) comes as Navy researchers continue to make significant progress on directed energy weapons, allowing the service to deploy a laser weapon on a Navy ship two years ahead of schedule. The at-sea demonstration in FY 14 is part of a wider portfolio of near-term Navy directed energy programs that promise rapid fielding, demonstration and prototyping efforts for shipboard, airborne and ground systems.
"Our conservative data tells us a shot of directed energy costs under $1," Klunder said. "Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability."
Of course, we also have that "rail gun" thingie: