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U.S. Navy fires laser weapon in Mideast amid drone boat threat

Mideast US Navy
Posted at 6:26 AM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 09:26:30-05

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy has tested a laser weapon and destroyed a floating target in the Mideast.

The test Tuesday saw the USS Portland test-fire its Laser Weapon System Demonstrator at the target in the Gulf of Aden, the body of water separating East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.

The Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet described the laser as having “successfully engaged” the target in a statement. Previously, the Portland used the laser to bring down a flying drone in May 2020.

The laser system could be used to counter bomb-laden drone boats deployed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. Attacks by drone boats have increased amid Yemen's long war.