U.S. Naval DE and EM Weapon Systems

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September 15, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: September 15 on

Four-star Admiral Greenert, stating the Navy’s foremost priority before a distinguished audience of military, government, academia, and industry representatives in Washington, D.C. at the 2015 Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo, repeated the enduring reality that, “Probably the biggest vulnerability of a ship is its magazine, because that’s where all the explosives are.”

But the Chief of Naval Operations wasn’t daydreaming about concepts existing only in science fiction. Greenert specifically noted that the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Laser Weapon System (LaWS) and the Electromagnetic Railgun – weapon programs vital to the future force – are up and running right now.

In a quantum leap from the gunpowder and shot armament of all American warships since the “Old Ironsides,” (the USS Constitution, which was commissioned some 216 years ago), the USS Ponce made U.S. Navy history in late 2014 by being the first warship publicly acknowledged to be deployed in the Persian Gulf with a fully operational, high power, anti-materiel laser as one of its standard weapon systems.