Iranian Revolutionary Guard speed boats, often harassing US Navy vessels. File Photo

Iranian Revolutionary Guard speed boats, often harassing US Navy vessels.

US Navy Tests Laser Weapon Against Floating Target In Mideast

12/15/2021

The US Navy announced Wednesday it tested a laser weapon and destroyed a floating target in the Mideast.

The system that could be used to counter bomb-laden drone boats deployed by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. Another ever-present threat is armed speed boats deployed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that have often menaced US Navy vessels.

The test Tuesday saw the USS Portland test-fire its Laser Weapon System Demonstrator at the target in the Gulf of Aden.

The Navy's Mideast-based 5th Fleet described the laser as having "successfully engaged" the target in a statement.

Previously, the Portland used the laser to bring down a flying drone in May 2020.

The Houthis have deployed drone boats into these waters, which can be piloted remotely and sent up to a target before detonating.

These boats are suspected of being built with Iran's help.

Emirati officials in 2018 showed off footage they described as coming from a drone boat computer that had Iranians building components for the boat's guidance system, with a hat visible in the background of one picture bearing the symbol of Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guard.

Iran has denied arming the Houthis, though United Nations experts, independent analysts and Western nations point to evidence showing Tehran's link to the weapons.

Report by AP

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