The U.S. Navy on Wednesday released footage showing the military branch test a laser weapon system in the Arabian Gulf.
In a press release, the Office of Naval Research described the laser system as a "cutting-edge weapon that brings significant new capabilities to America's Sailors and Marines."
Testing was conducted from September to November and hailed as "historic" by officials for its ability to operate seamlessly with existing defense systems.
"Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations," said Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, chief of naval research. "We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality."
According to the Navy, the advanced weaponry is controlled using a video-game like controller and may be particularly helpful in addressing "asymmetric threats," such as attacks from small boats.
The Navy added that the laser weapon system is cost effective.
"At less than a dollar per shot, there's no question about the value LaWS provides," Klunder said. "With affordability a serious concern for our defense budgets, this will more effectively manage resources to ensure our Sailors and Marines are never in a fair fight."
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