This Tuesday, December 14, the United States Navy tested a laser weapon in the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somolia, to hit a floating target. According to the Associated Press , the Navy could use this technology to fight the unmanned ships that are sent by the Houthi rebels from Yemen.
The test was carried out by the ship USS Portland and a weapon that is currently a prototype solid-state laser was used – this device was used in 2020 to shoot down a drone. At the moment it has not yet been specified which target was shot down during the test, however, it is estimated that it was a boat that is remotely controlled.
The Associated Press states that “ the Houthis have deployed drone boats in these waters, which can be piloted remotely and sent to a target before detonating . These ships are suspected to have been built with the help of Iran. ” To put you in context, Yemen has been at war since Iran-backed Houthi rebels took its capital, Sanaa, in 2014.
The United States Navy assures that with this type of weapon, armed conflicts over the sea could be redefined , because it is a directed and effective technology against medium or small-sized objects.
On the other hand, the US military is conducting the first tests in the Middle East for geography, climate and the strategic importance that the region offers for technological innovation.
This prototype lasers are beginning to be deployed on the battlefield, however, there is still a lot of work ahead for this technology to be seen in the rest of the armies . It is true that US servicemen first shot down a drone with a laser in 1973 during tests at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.