WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. Navy has successfully test-fired a laser weapon and destroyed a floating target in the Gulf of Aden in Yemen, according to a recently released report.
The new weapon could be used to target drone boats used by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the report added.
The Associated Press has reported that the USS Portland fired the Laser Weapon System Demonstrator this week in the waterway separating the Arabian peninsula from Africa, while the Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in the Middle East, said the laser “successfully engaged” its target.
In May 2020, the USS Portland used a laser to shoot down a drone.
In 2014, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and have since been battling Saudi-led forces.
The fighting has killed thousands and spread to the Red Sea, which connects the Gulf of Aden to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, whose waterways play a key role in the global transportation of goods, including oil.
The Houthis have been using remotely piloted drone boats loaded with explosives to attack ships in the region.