US Navy test fires new laser weapon

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US Navy test fires new laser weapon

The US Navy successfully tested a laser weapon and destroyed a floating target in the Gulf of Aden​ — indicating the system could be deployed to target drone boats used by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, according to a new report.

The USS Portland fired the Laser Weapon System Demonstrator on Tuesday in the waterway that separates the Arabian peninsula from ​Africa, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.​

The Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in the Middle East, said the laser “successfully engaged” the target.​​

In May 2020, the USS Portland used a laser to down a drone. ​​

The test-firing happened off the coast of Yemen, where Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana’a in 2014, and have been battling Saudi-led forces ever since.

The fighting, which has killed thousands, ​has spread to the Red Sea, which connects the Gulf of Aden to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.​

The USS Portland fires a laser weapon system at a target floating in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday it tested a laser weapon and destroyed a floating target.
The USS Portland fires a laser weapon system at a target floating in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday it tested a laser weapon and destroyed a floating target.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin Kates/U.S. Marine Corps via AP
the USS Portland lowers a floating target into the water that it will later be fired on with a laser weapon system.
the USS Portland lowers a floating target into the water that it will later be fired on with a laser weapon system.
Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert/U.S. Marine Corps via AP

The waterways play a critical role in the transportation of goods, including oil, to international markets. 

The Houthis have been using bomb-laden drone boats​ that can be piloted remotely to attack ships in the region. 

With Post wires

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