Navy Surface Chief: LCS Will Deploy With Laser Weapon

An A/N SEQ-3(XN-1) laser weapon system at Dahlgren, Virginia, like the one deployed in 2014 aboard the USS Ponce. A littoral combat ship, the USS Little Rock, also will have a laser weapon installed, says the admiral in charge of the Navy’s surface ships. U.S. Navy/John F. Williams

ARLINGTON, Va. — The admiral in charge of the Navy’s surface warships said a littoral combat ship (LCS) soon will deploy with a laser weapon system on board. 

Vice Adm. Rich Brown, commander of Naval Surface Forces, in a Jan. 6 media teleconference, embargoed until Jan. 13, said the weapon system will be installed in the Freedom-class USS Little Rock (LCS 9). Brown said the laser system would be installed in the ship midway during its deployment during a crew swap and planned maintenance availability.  

The Little Rock, based in Naval Station Mayport, Florida, is expected to deploy sometime over the next year. The Navy was not ready to discuss the origin or type of laser weapon system to be installed. 

The Navy already has installed a laser weapon system on the amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27). Earlier, an experimental laser weapon system, the SEQ-3, was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2014 on board the USS Ponce, which since has been decommissioned.