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US Navy' USS Portland testing Laser Weapons System Demonstrator.


| 2021

According to information published by the U.S Navy on December 15, 2021, amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) conducted a high-energy laser weapon system demonstration while sailing in the Gulf of Aden.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Test of the LWSD on San Antonio-class USS Portland (Picture source: U.S. Navy)


During the demonstration, the Solid State Laser - Technology Maturation Laser Weapons System Demonstrator (LWSD) Mark 2 MOD 0 aboard Portland successfully engaged a static surface training target.

Portland previously tested the LWSD in May 2020 when it successfully disabled a small unmanned aerial system while operating in the Pacific Ocean.

The Office of Naval Research selected Portland to host the laser weapon technology in 2018.

Portland is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group that includes amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and embarked Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The weapon, part of the Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) effort, is significantly more powerful than the 33 kW Laser Weapon System (LaWS) installed in 2014 aboard the now-decommissioned afloat forward staging base ship Ponce (AFSB 15).

The laser aboard Portland is installed forward in the ship in a trunk structure originally intended for a never-fitted vertical launch system. The LPD was selected because the ship had the space and weight capacity along with already-installed electrical cables to ease the laser installation.

The SSL-TM laser is in a trainable mounting with a clear field of fire forward and to about 65 degrees abaft each beam.


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