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The Navy wants to mount a powerful new laser on a destroyer to 'burn the boats'
The Navy intends to mount a laser weapons system aboard a guided-missile destroyer for user against small enemy watercraft in the next two years, the head of the service's surface warfare directorate announced on Wednesday.
"We are going to burn the boats if you will and move forward with this technology," Rear Adm. Ron Boxall said during an industry summit in Washington, D.C., according to USNI News.
According to Boxall, the Navy wants to install a High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (or the aptly-named HELIOS) aboard an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer by some time in 2021.
Developed by Lockheed Martin under a $150 million contract, the 60 kilowatt HELIOS system offers triple the power of the 20 kw Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored AN/SEQ-3 Laser Weapon System that the Navy unveiled on the USS Ponce was back in 2014.
The LaWS, primarily deployed to deal with the growing threat of unmanned aerial systems in the Persian Gulf, has since been repurposed as a "land-based test asset" for the HELIOS system after the Ponce was decommissioned in October 2017, according to a Congressional Research Service report published in October 2018.
The HELIOS, by contrast, is a primarily offensive system, Boxall said, one that poses its own challenges in terms of sensor and targeting capabilities on the Navy surface fleet's Aegis combat system.
"The problem I have today is the integration of that system into my existing combat system," Boxall said, per USNI News. "If I have this system that can kill and I have a system that can actually sense, then I have to make sure it integrates with the other things I have on my ship that can sense and kill, namely the Aegis weapon system."
In the long-term, though, "burning the boats" may prove a cost-effective addition to surface combatants' weapons systems if only to free up systems like the Phalanx close-in weapon system and the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) that pose a relatively high cost per shot.
'High-energy [solid-state lasers] currently under development that have enough beam power to counter small boats and UAVs, but not enough to counter missiles, could nevertheless indirectly improve a ship's ability to counter missiles by permitting the ship to use fewer of its SAMs for countering UAVs, and more of them for countering missiles," according to the October 2018 CRS report.
We now go live to a future HELIOS-capable Aegis combat system in action:
WATCH NEXT: An Army Apache Tests A High Energy Laser
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.