Imagine a weapon that takes aim on a drone and fires, sending the aircraft to the ground in a ball of flames. Now, imagine that happening without a projectile being fired.
FOX's Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon in our ongoing series on national security:
For the first time, the Pentagon plans to deploy a weaponized laser onboard a Navy ship. This new weapon is slated to be operational off the coast of Iran early next year.
It will be mounted to the fantail of the USS Ponce and sent out to the 5th Fleet region in the Persian Gulf, where Iran operates small surveillance drones and is known for swarming and harassing U.S. Navy ships with small, armored speedboats.
One of the laser's major advantages is its relatively low cost to operate after an initial investment of $32 million. The Navy says, so far, its ship-mounted laser is 12-for-12 in the testing phase, destroying its target each time. The next test will be on the high seas.
At the Pentagon, Jennifer Griffin, FOX News Radio.
WATCH the laser system take down an unmanned drone during a test:
WATCH more on the Navy's new laser: