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 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