Military

US Navy deploys first anti-drone laser dazzler weapon

US Navy deploys first anti-dro...
Artist's concept of a laser weapon in action - unlike more destructive laser weapons such as the ATHENA system being developed by Lockheed Martin, the ODIN dazzler laser is designed to disable or destroy delicate optical sensors on drones
Artist's concept of a laser weapon in action
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The US Navy has successfully installed its first Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) laser weapon aboard one of its warships. During dry-dock operations, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) received the stand-alone laser system, which is designed to blind the sensors on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

The ODIN laser isn't the first to be deployed on a US Navy warship. That honor goes to the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) Laser Weapon System (LaWS), which was deployed on the USS Ponce (LPD-15) in 2014. However, this experience by the team behind LaWS at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division provided the expertise needed to complete the development of ODIN.

Unlike other laser weapons that are designed to destroy targets with blasts of concentrated laser light, ODIN is what is known as a dazzler laser. That is, it's one of a class of lasers that are intended to blind or distract rather than destroy. Though the legality of using such lasers against human pilots restricts them to only distracting the person by acting like the glare of oncoming headlamps, such lasers can also disable or destroy delicate optical sensors on drones.

According to the Navy, ODIN went from an approved idea to installation in only two and a half years. Over the next two years, ODIN will be deployed throughout the fleet as an anti-drone defense and the experience gained will be used in future Surface Navy Laser Weapon Systems.

Source: US Navy

3 comments
Spud Murphy
Imagine where the human race would be if all the effort dedicated to making weapons of destruction was put to advancing humanity instead. We are still just stupid, territorial apes bashing each other over the heads with ever more advanced clubs.
Catweazle
Spud Murphy FEBRUARY 22, 2020 07:01 PM says:
"Imagine where the human race would be if all the effort dedicated to making weapons of destruction was put to advancing humanity instead." --- Yes, we wouldn't have such breakthroughs as antibiotics, lasers, microchips and all the other spinoffs from exceptionally demanding warfare for millennia yet, perhaps even never. Necessity is the mother of invention, and there is nothing stimulates necessity more than warfare.
EnriqueSuarez
So eloquently said Catweazle. I would also add that if the whole planet were some Utopian Kumbaya world then I'd agree. But from the beginning of history, we have never been or will never be that. We are humans and that trait, for good or bad, we'll always exist in us. That's reality.