(U.S. Army National Guard/Sgt. Harley Jelis)

Suspected of pointing a laser at an Army National Guard helicopter on Wednesday night, Robert Simione, 72, of Mount Sinai, was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for reckless endangerment, Suffolk County police said.

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(U.S. Army/C. Todd Lopez)
The Army says it will be able to field combat vehicle-mounted lasers and hypersonic missiles within the next four years to prepare for combat against rivals like Russia or China that may employ enemy drones or their own hypersonic weapons.
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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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An artist's depiction of the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) in action. (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

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.

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U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252 help Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 501 with the aerial refueling of F-35B Lightning II aircraft over Florida Oct. 2, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Gabriela Garcia)

The Defense Department is weighing a plan to deploy F-35 fighters to hover on the outskirts of North Korea airspace and neutralize intercontinental ballistic missiles shortly after launch, Reuters reports.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

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