A news report about the USS Iowa gun turret explosion in 1989.
New Laser to be Mounted on Warship
The US Navy unveils its powerful ship-mounted laser weapon by taking down an unmanned drone. The U.S. Navy announced Monday that it is preparing to deploy the 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.