WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy recently installed the first Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN), a laser weapon system that allows its ships to counter enemy unmanned aerial systems (UAS), Naval Sea Systems Command said.
The first system was installed on the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey during the ship’s recently completed dry-docking.
ODIN’s development, testing and production was done by Navy experts at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division in Dahlgren, Virginia, in support of Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems. Their work on the laser weapon system known as LaWS positioned them to be the design and production agent for ODIN.
During his recent visit to the Dewey, James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research development and acquisition, said he was impressed by the rapid progress made by the team.
Geurts said: “This is a great example of our organic talent at the warfare centers all working together with ship’s company to deliver a system which will provide game-changing capability. Bravo Zulu to the entire ODIN team on being mission-focused and delivering lethal capability to the warfighter.”
Going from an approved idea to installation in two and a half years, ODIN’s installation on Dewey is the first operational employment of the stand-alone system that functions as a dazzler to combat threats from enemy UAS.
Adversaries’ UAS production and employment has increased significantly, and ODIN was developed to counter these threats.
“The Pacific Fleet commander identified this urgent counter-intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance need, and the chief of naval operations directed us to fill it as quickly as possible,” said Cmdr. David Wolfe, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems Directed Energy office.
“The NSWC Dahlgren Division team did an amazing job addressing challenges and keeping our accelerated schedule on track and moving forward to deliver this capability.”
Within the next couple of years, the ODIN program will have all units operational within the fleet. Lessons learned from ODIN’s installation on Dewey will inform installation on other vessels and further development and implementation of surface Navy laser weapon systems.