WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – The Navy has successfully deployed a laser weapon, mounted on an American warship, that can shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles.

Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, the head of the Office of Naval Research, announced the laser weapons system (LaWS) was used in the Arabian Gulf

“Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations,” said Klunder. “We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality.”

It was deployed on the USS Ponce between September and November while it was stationed in the Arabian Gulf.

Klunder called it a cutting-edge weapon that brings significant new capabilities to the Navy.

“At less than a dollar per shot, there’s no question about the value LaWS provides,” he explained. “With affordability a serious concern for our defense budgets, this will more effectively manage resources to ensure our sailors and Marines are never in a fair fight.”

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