An artist's depiction of the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) in action. (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
The Navy is scared to death that rival countries like China, Russia and Iran might sink its multibillion dollar surface ships with powerful cruise missiles and waves of cheap drones. But while ship-mounted lasers could be the Navy's most effective response to these threats, a new Congressional Research Service report on directed energy weapons indicates many of the Navy's newest destroyers might not have enough power to fire them.
The Navy "will have to either remove something or look at 'very aggressive power management,'" in order to install one 60 kilowatt laser system, called the high-energy laser with integrated optical dassler and surveillance (HELIOS), onto the newest flight of Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the report said, citing Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, director of Navy Surface Warfare, who was quoted in several news articles.
"[W]e are out of Schlitz with regard to power," Boxall said, noting that the Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyers are already strapped powering the new AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar. "'We used a lot of power for that and we don't have as much' extra for additional functions."
Christopher Anderson, an aide to former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, testified that the White House cancelled a Navy freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the Black Sea after President Donald Trump complained to then-national security advisor John Bolton about a CNN report that framed the operation as a counter to Russia, Politico reports.
U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers and guided-missile cruisers. (U.S. Navy/Lt.j.g. Caleb Swigart)
The U.S. Navy sent two guided-missile destroyers to challenge China in the South China Sea, and Beijing is outraged.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers — USS Spruance and USS Preble — conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation Monday, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese outposts in the contested Spratly Islands.
Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Will Gaskill
Although much of America’s attention has focused on finding the causal factors behind Monday’s collision between the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and a Liberian-flagged oil tanker off the coast of Singapore, we should not ignore the strategic impacts, either. They’re big and worrisome.
Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton
The Navy on Aug. 24 publicly disclosed the identities of the 10 crewmembers lost in the USS John S. McCain collision last weekend, announcing the suspension search-and-rescue operations for the nine sailors who are still missing.