US Navy Testing Laser Weapons in Mideast

US Navy Testing Laser Weapons in Mideast

( – The Middle East is rife with tensions, with several factions fighting for power, especially in the war-torn country of Yemen. The Houthi rebels, a faction President Joe Biden removed from the designated terrorist list earlier this year, regularly use drones to carry out attacks in the Red Sea. The US Navy is currently working on ways to neutralize the threat.

On Tuesday, December 14, the USS Portland, a navy warship, tested its Laser Weapons System Demonstrator by firing at a target in the Gulf of Aden. The military received the Mk 2 Mod 0 system in 2019 and first used it the following year to shoot down a small drone in Pacific waters. On Tuesday, they used the system to “engage” the floating target before firing.

The US Navy shared pictures of its test on Twitter:

The Houthi rebels, an Iranian-based group, have used drone boats to attack in surrounding waters. With the laser weapon, the hope is naval vessels can neutralize threats before they have a chance to become extremely problematic, as the waterways surrounding the Gulf of Aden are critical for international shipping.

The battle in Yemen has been ongoing since 2014, with over 110,000 casualties to date and seemingly no end in sight.

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