The Pearl Harbor-based USS Preble will be the first destroyer to be equipped with a high-energy laser to counter surface craft and unmanned aerial systems, according to a published report, with the Navy planning to one day use the powerful light beams to defend against Chinese or Russian cruise missiles.

Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, the Navy's director of surface warfare, told Defense News that the Preble will be outfitted in 2021 with the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical- dazzler With Surveillance system, or HELIOS.

"We are making the decision to put the laser on our (destroyers)," Boxall said. "It's going to start with Preble in 2021, and when we do that, that will now be her close-in weapon that we now continue to upgrade," according to Defense News.

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The U.S. Air Force successfully shot down multiple missiles with a laser weapon that could eventually defend fighters and other aircraft against existing and emerging missile threats.

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The United States has sent a message to China: Stop shining lasers at our military aircraft in Djibouti.

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Air Force Special Operations Command has been itching to add a frickin’ laser beam to the already-brimming arsenal of its AC-130J Ghostrider gunships. But plans for a high-powered add-on to the Air Force’s “ultimate battle plane” may have hit a significant obstacle.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo

Rules to live by: Never get involved in a land war in Asia; don’t tweet angry; don’t sell stolen military swag on Ebay; and never, ever shine a laser at the cockpit of a helicopter. That last one has real consequences — a lesson learned by a group of British hoodlums in 2014 —  but apparently, some sailors in Iran’s Navy never got the memo.

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