Military Capabilities

USN, USMC accelerating directed-energy programmes

09 March 2018

The US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) are developing their directed-energy (DE) programmes at a much faster clip, service officials told Congressional members during recent testimony on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget proposal.

“We’ve been accelerating this as fast as we can and it’s showing great promise,” Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, told the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) on 7 March.

“We’ve achieved timescales compressing from years to months,” Adm Richardson testified. “We want to move as soon as possible.”

Lasers and other DE weapons will be “fundamental” in defence against both smaller-sized threats – such as small aircraft or unmanned systems – and high-end threats, he said, adding that dazzler systems could be used to counter ISR weapons or platforms.

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