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-- Defense Department saddled with billions in cost cutting.
Is rolling the dice on a new weapon that could end up being cheaper and some -- deadlier.
Than current alternatives.
National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin has the story tonight from the -- pentagon.
For the first time the Pentagon plans to deploy a weaponized laser on board a navy ship.
This new weapon is elated to be operational off the coast of Iran early next year.
Video released by the US navy shows the laser lock -- to a slow moving target.
In this case an unmanned drone.
The -- soon catches fire and crashes into the -- below it quote operates much like a blowtorch with an unlimited magazine according to one pentagon official.
For the first time we're gonna demonstrate it lasers can take out operational aircraft now.
Albeit they're -- drones.
They're not fast movers the laser will be capable of obliterating the small boats an unmanned drones with a blast of infrared energy.
It will be mounted to the fan tail of the USS Ponce say and sent out to the fifth fleet region in the Persian gulf.
Where Iran operates small surveillance drones and is known for swarming and harassing US navy ships with small armored speedboats.
One of its major advantages is its relatively low cost to operate.
After an initial investment of 32 million dollars.
-- -- -- this directed energy comes out of this laser.
He's a little under a dollar.
A little under one US dollar.
That's effectiveness and that's affordability.
Compare that to a tomahawk missile which cost the taxpayer one million dollars each time it is fired.
When the air force tried to mount a laser on the tip of an airplane.
Those lasers costs nearly one point five billion dollars apiece the Pentagon canceled this costly airborne laser program two years ago.
US navy officials are concerned that the new laser technology.
Won't work in poor weather conditions and for now it's not clear the ship mounted laser.
You bring down faster moving threats such as incoming fighter jets or missiles.
The navy says -- ship mounted laser is twelve for twelve in the testing phase destroying its target each time the next test will be on the high seas Brett.
-- -- a lot of the Pentagon Jennifer thank you.
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