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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
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad.
Iran's Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on Jan. 8.
The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.