Target Drone in Recovery Parachute Following High Energy Laser Engagement

The target drone used during the Navy’s test in New Mexico deploys its recovery parachute. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

This report was updated 4/14/2022 at 3:05 pm ET to clarify what targets on which the laser system was tested.

WASHINGTON: The Navy’s primary research and development agency successfully tested an all-electric, high-energy laser, shooting down “a target representing a subsonic cruise missile in flight,” the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

The weapon, called the Layered Laser Defense, is built by Lockheed Martin and can be used to counter unmanned drones and fast-attack boats as well as provide tracking and identification capabilities through its high-resolution telescope.

The Office of Naval Research conducted the test in February at the Army’s High Energy Laser Systems test facility at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico but only announced the results this week.

“Innovative laser systems like the LLD have the potential to redefine the future…