A San Diego-based amphibious ship successfully destroyed a drone using an advanced laser weapon during a test in the Pacific Ocean, the Navy announced.

The amphibious transport dock USS Portland used a high-energy, solid-state laser developed by Northrop Grumman in the test on May 16.

It was the first operational use of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator, which was tested earlier at the Navy’s Port Hueneme facility in Ventura County.

“By conducting advanced at sea tests against UAVs and small craft, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats,” said Capt. Karrey Sanders, commanding officer of USS Portland.

The Navy said the laser weapon gives a warship’s captain another weapons option besides missiles and guns.

“The Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the Navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems,” said Sanders. “With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy.”

The Portland is one of the Navy’s 11 San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships, which are designed to transport Marines and their equipment for an amphibious landing.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.