NBC News Reports:
The U.S. Navy announced Monday that it is preparing to deploy a new weapon that can disable a hostile boat and even destroy a surveillance drone overhead — all without dispensing any expensive ammunition.
It is the Navy's Laser Weapons System (LaWS), a laser mounted on a ship that is so strong it can ignite a drone, sending it crashing and burning to earth in mere moments.
The USS Ponce, an amphibious transport docking ship, will be the first Navy vessel to deploy with the LaWS, officials announced Monday.
The new laser will be installed on the Ponce over the next year and operational in summer 2014. The Ponce is now based in the Fifth Fleet area, which covers the Persian Gulf and the Horn of Africa.
… A defense official also stressed that the laser will not have full capability to take down a larger target for a decade or so.
Despite speculation the laser is deploying to the Fifth Fleet to warn Iran, a U.S. military official says that the real reason it's going to that region is that it is "the hardest environment" the Navy has available to test the new system.
To read the article in full, see: Courtney Kube, NBC News at: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/08/17658147-navy-unveils-powerful-ship-mounted-laser-weapon?lite