MLD Test Moves Navy a Step Closer to Lasers for Ship Self-DefenseGeoff S. Fein, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va. — Marking a milestone for the Navy, the Office of Naval Research and its industry partner on April 6 successfully tested a solid-state, high-energy laser (HEL) from a surface ship, which disabled a small target vessel.
The Navy and Northrop Grumman completed at-sea testing of the Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD), which validated the potential to provide advanced self-defense for surface ships and personnel by keeping small boat threats at a safe distance.
The latest test occurred near San Nicholas Island, off the coast of Central California in the Pacific Ocean test range. The laser was mounted onto the deck of the Navy’s self-defense test ship, former USS Paul Foster (DD 964).
Additionally, the Navy accomplished several other benchmarks, including integrating MLD with a ship’s radar and navigation system and firing an electric laser weapon from a moving platform at-sea in a humid environment. Other tests of solid state lasers for the Navy have been conducted from land-based positions.
Source: Office of Naval Research